One of the individuals with ties to the far-right group known as the Oath Keepers who have been dealt federal criminal charges in connection to the Capitol riot has now pleaded guilty to two charges and will cooperate with investigators. Jason Dolan, who was part of the military-style “stack” formation observed at the Capitol during the riot, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding, and according to a judge, Dolan’s estimated sentencing guidelines call for 5 to 6 years in prison once he is sentenced. At present, Dolan has been allowed to leave custody, although he’s under restrictions.
The “stack” formation that included Dolan involved a group of individuals in tactical gear who entered the Capitol in a line, with participants hanging onto the shoulder of the person in front of them. Meanwhile, Dolan’s cooperation with investigators is set to include testimony before a grand jury, as noted by reporter Scott MacFarlane.
It'll be guilty plea to two counts:
Obstruction of Official Proceeding
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) September 15, 2021
Provisions for that testimony obviously suggest that federal investigative efforts into riot-tied activities remain vigorously active, with a presumptive potential for even more criminal charges in the future. Just recently, federal agents seized a phone belonging to Kellye SoRelle, a lawyer with ties to the Oath Keepers, and the search warrant underlining that seizure identified seditious conspiracy as one of the potential crimes under investigation. Other potential crimes under investigation include obstruction of Congress, destruction of government property, and more. SoRelle said that there’s “so much stuff” on her phone.
In contrast to Dolan, other Capitol rioters with Oath Keepers connections have opted against pleading guilty, for now. Trial dates have already been set for defendants including Thomas Caldwell, Jessica Watkins, and others. This week, Caldwell lost an attempt to get his upcoming jury trial moved out of D.C., an attempt that he (through his lawyer) based on a claim that local residents in D.C. would be unfairly biased against him right from the start. David Fischer, Caldwell’s lawyer, argued that D.C. inhabitants “despise many things that traditional America stands for” — with the apparently underlying assumption that Caldwell, in contrast, represents the values of “traditional America.” Federal Judge Amit Mehta rejected this argument, flatly calling it “not acceptable” for court proceedings.