A lawyer connected to the Capitol riot-tied group known as the Oath Keepers has had their phone seized by federal agents in connection to an investigation into, among other potential crimes, possible “seditious conspiracy.” The Oath Keepers — like other, similar groups including the Proud Boys and the Three Percenters — are a group of violent, far-right operatives, some of whom participated in the January riot at the Capitol. The lawyer whose phone was seized is Texas resident Kellye SoRelle, who has served as a general counsel for the Oath Keepers.
NEW: The feds seized an iPhone from an attorney associated with the Oath Keepers in connection with a “seditious conspiracy” investigation.
“I have so much information in there…"https://t.co/MlYAMIvfOZ
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) September 9, 2021
At present, SoRelle is not representing any of the defendants in Capitol riot cases, but she has helped raise funds to cover the legal fees of those defendants. She was also on the grounds of the Capitol for a time on January 6, and on that same day, she appeared alongside Rhodes at a “Freedom Rally” in D.C., where she told observers that, because of imaginary, systematic election fraud, “no one can be deemed legitimate at this point,” adding that those hearing her remarks supposedly “have no duty to comply going forward.” On a flyer for the January 6 event where she spoke, SoRelle was identified as a member of a pro-Trump legal organization called Lawyers for Trump.
Predictably, SoRelle did not take kindly to the seizure of her phone by federal authorities, although agents of course had a warrant. She claimed that authorities “either think i am the mastermind or they wanted a free dig through everything ― either way it is unethical.” As she also put it, referring to her phone, there’s “so much stuff in there.” Besides the potential perpetrating of seditious conspiracy, HuffPost summarizes that the cover sheet for the search warrant targeting SoRelle’s phone identified the underlying investigation as also looking into possible crimes like “conspiracy, civil disorder, false statements, destruction of government property, obstruction of Congress, and unlawful entry on restricted buildings or grounds.”
No charges of “seditious conspiracy” have been filed against any Capitol riot defendants — of which there are over 600 at this point — but some (including a group that are involved with the Oath Keepers) do face charges of “conspiracy.” Federal law regarding seditious conspiracy outlaws any group of two or more people from developing plans “to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States,” among other specific, outlawed behavior. Meanwhile, although dozens of Capitol riot defendants have accepted plea deals, most defendants have not (so far), with jury trials for them on the horizon.