William Todd Wilson on Wednesday became the third member of the Oath Keepers to plead guilty to seditious conspiracy for his role in planning and executing the January 6th Capitol attack. He has agreed to cooperate with investigators.
He faces up to 20 years in prison for seditious conspiracy and up to 20 years for obstruction of an official proceeding, along with potential financial penalties, according to a DOJ press release.
Court papers related to the 44-year old’s plea deal also shed new light on the militia’s communication with then President Donal Trump’s inner circle.
The Guardian reports:
Stewart Rhodes, the Oath Keepers militia group leader charged with seditious conspiracy over the January 6 attack on the Capitol, asked an intermediary to get Donald Trump to allow his group to forcibly stop the transfer of power, the justice department has alleged in court papers.
The previously unknown phone call with the unidentified individual appears to indicate the Oath Keepers had contacts with at least one person close enough to Trump that Rhodes believed the individual would be a good person to consult with his request.
Wilson, a North Carolina native, helped the Oath Keepers plan the Capitol attack in the two months between the 2020 election and the day the vote was to be certified by Congress.
The Washington Post reports:
On Jan. 5, 2021, according to court records, he drove to a hotel in Tysons Corner in Virginia with an AR-15-style rifle, a 9mm pistol, about 200 rounds of ammunition, body armor, pepper spray and a large walking stick “intended for use as a weapon,” according to court records filed Wednesday.
Wilson stashed the weapons as part of teams of “quick reaction forces” waiting in various hotels outside of the District, ready to be summoned if needed during the Jan. 6 riot, the court records state.
Wilson eventually breached the U.S. Capitol alongside fellow militia members. The Post describes what happened next:
When the Capitol was finally cleared, Wilson joined Rhodes in a suite at the Phoenix Park Hotel, just blocks from the Capitol, and listened to Rhodes call someone on a speaker phone, Wilson admitted. Wilson told investigators he heard “Rhodes repeatedly implore the individual to tell President Trump to call upon groups like the Oath Keepers to forcibly oppose the transfer of power,” the court records state. “This individual denied Rhodes’s request to speak directly with President Trump. After the call ended, Rhodes stated to the group, ‘I just want to fight.’”
The “individual” on the other end of the call was not identified.
POLITICO provides context:
Rhodes has ties to some figures in Trump’s orbit, but there’s been little evidence of direct communication on Jan. 6. In previously released text messages sent among Oath Keepers that day, Rhodes lamented that Trump hadn’t exercised emergency powers that he claimed could authorize the Oath Keepers to violently prevent Congress from certifying the 2020 election.
The filing, however, shows that prosecutors are increasingly eyeing ties between the Oath Keepers and people inside Trump’s orbit. One of the group’s other members who pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy, Joshua James, was a member of Roger Stone’s security detail. James is also cooperating with the government following his plea deal.