Capitol Riot suspect, leader of the Oath Keepers, talks about DC prison
ORLANDO, Florida. – For the first time, Kelly Meggs, the self-proclaimed leader of Florida’s Oath Keepers, speaks to FOX 35 News January 6, 2021.
“Understand, this is the first time I’ve told anyone about this,” Meggs said by phone from inside a Washington DC jail.
Oath Keepers is an anti-government militia whose members claim to defend the Constitution.
Meggs is one of 17 people, including his wife, charged with storming the Capitol building, a riot that ultimately resulted in the deaths of five people. Investigators say Meggs is one of the leaders and accuse him of planning his groups’ trip extensively to disrupt Congress.
“Did you go to DC with the intention of rioting or taking the Capitol?” FOX 35 News reporter Holly Bristow asked.
“Absolutely not. If that had been my plan, I certainly couldn’t have come with all the 50s, 60s and 80s. I came for one reason and one reason only, to do security and listen to the president speak” , said Meggs.
Meggs told FOX 35 News that he and his group plan to provide security for well-known Trump supporter and Republican agent Roger Stone, making sure he gets to each stage safely for his speaking engagements.
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“Are you armed? Are you in uniform? What does it look like? Bristow asked.
“We had Oath Keepers shirts and we had hard hats, plastic hard hats. A lot of times in riots people throw water bottles or frozen bricks, so we wear our hard hats, then we wear a kind of a bulletproof vest like a stab vest so no one can stab you,” Meggs explained.
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In his indictment, federal prosecutors identify Meggs and his co-conspirators marching in a “pile” formation on the steps of the Capitol.
“When did you enter the Capitol?” Bristow asked.
“We were sitting there…singing…and hanging out. We heard a big bang. The doors opened and people started pouring in. The wave. The crowd pushed through the doors. We We were part of that crowd. The doors were open. The police stood there, didn’t tell us not to come in, basically let us in and that’s how we got in,” Meggs said.
The feds paint a different picture in Meggs’ indictment, saying the “stack” that Meggs was part of was “a mob that aggressively advanced toward the east side rotunda doors… assaulted the officers guarding the gates, threw objects and sprayed chemicals at the officers and the gates and fired violently at the gates,” the indictment reads.
Surveillance cameras inside the Capitol Buildig captured video of Meggs and his group, but federal authorities did not detail his personal actions. Meggs tells FOX 35 News that he didn’t hurt anyone or destroy anything, that he helped people, including the police.
“As we were walking around the roundhouse one of the guys said hey there was trouble there and there was an officer who got trapped by a crowd of people. So we got in front of the crowd, between the crowd and the officer, and pushed the crowd back and made a little barrier where they couldn’t reach him, so he was able to come down some stairs, catch his breath,” Meggs said.
He claims he did not see the chaos and horror the world saw unfold on television as Congress leaders were taken to safe rooms. He says he knew nothing about the deadly violence until he got back to his hotel room and turned on the television.
Meggs returned home and moved on with his life. He said he thought that at some point the FBI would come and talk to him and ask him what he saw that day and that would be the end of it. Meggs said he didn’t expect what happened in February.
“I was pulled over by probably about 15 officers, ATF Homeland Security, FBI, local sheriff’s office with guns drawn, bulletproof vest, surrounded my vehicle. Put me face down in the middle off the road. Put me in a vehicle, picked me up, took me home, and stormed the garden hose and went through everything. I stopped my wife at the same time,” Meggs said .
Meggs has been in jail, without bail, ever since. His wife, Connie, is now on bail.
Meggs and a handful of his co-defendants will spend their day in court on April 19. His lawyer said the trial is expected to last at least four weeks.
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