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The head of the Oath Keepers, a far-right militia organisation that took part in January’s insurrection on the US Capitol, allegedly wanted antifa to counter protest on the day to give Donald Trump an excuse to declare martial law.
In charges filed on Sunday against four Oath Keepers related to the Capitol riot, Stewart Rhodes allegedly told members of the militia that if antifa “go kinetic on us, then we'll go kinetic on them.”
Prosecutors believe that some members thought Mr Trump could invoke a 200-year-old act to stop domestic terrorism, and override the results of the 2020 election, in the run up to 6 January.
As first reported by Raw Story, Mr Rhodes theorised that the Insurrection Act would allow Mr Trump to declare martial law to deal with an insurrection from domestic terrorists — or antifa.
“Let the fight start there. That will give president Trump what he needs, frankly,” Mr Rhodes told a meeting of Oath Keepers on 9 November, according to court filings.
“If things go kinetic, good. If they throw bombs at us and shoot us, great, because that brings the president his reason and rationale for dropping the Insurrection Act.”
Mr Rhodes also told fellow Oath Keepers that they were defending "the duly elected president, and we call on him to do what needs to be done to save our country,” according to the filings in court.
"I do want some Oath Keepers to stay on the outside [on 6 January], and to stay fully armed and prepared to go in armed, if they have to," said Mr Rhodes. "So, our posture's gonna be that we're posted outside of DC, um, awaiting the president's orders.
“We hope he will give us the orders. We want him to declare an insurrection, and to call us up as the militia."
On the day of the rioting — as US Congress voted to confirm Mr Biden’s electoral win — Mr Trump did not invoke the Insurrection Act.
Nor did antifa or the militant far-left turn out in considerable numbers on 6 January to counter-protest a “Stop the Steal” rally organised by the Trump campaign.
On Sunday, the charges filed against four Oath Keepers took the total to 16 from the militia organisation, and among hundreds facing charges for the insurrection.