Oath Keeper Operations Leader Busted By Feds For Jan. 6 Violence


39-year-old Indiana man Michael Greene — a member of the violent, far-right group known as the Oath Keepers — has joined the hundreds charged for their participation in last year’s Trump-incited attack on the Capitol.

The charges against Greene were tacked onto a case that already had seven other defendants, all of whom have previously entered not guilty pleas and all of whom are apparently also involved with the Oath Keepers. The case in which other individuals tied to the Oath Keepers stand accused of crimes including seditious conspiracy for actions they took around the Capitol riot is separate. Greene’s charges include conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to prevent an officer from discharging any duties, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, and tampering with documents or proceedings. That last charge connects to Greene’s deletion of items on his phone revealing his involvement in actions prosecutors are scrutinizing.

According to a press release from the Justice Department, Greene was eventually selected by Oath Keepers founder and leader Stewart Rhodes “to be an operations leader for activities on Jan. 6.” “Between Jan. 1 and Jan. 5, 2021, according to the indictment, Greene and others transported firearms, ammunition, and related items to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area,” authorities add. In other words, it remains abundantly clear that what took place at the Capitol could have been even worse than it actually turned out. What if the Oath Keepers had brought additional weapons to the Capitol complex? (Contrary to claims on the Right, guns were, in fact, in the crowd at the Capitol, so more firearms from the Oath Keepers would have added to that threat, not started something new.) What if — as has been discussed elsewhere — the rioters actually reached top government leaders like then-Vice President Pence? His life would have been in danger.

Greene documented his participation in the storming of the Capitol. At 1:42 p.m. on the afternoon of the violence, he texted an acquaintance a photo of a portion of the rioting crowd and wrote: “Storming the capital.” “Greene communicated with Rhodes and others during the afternoon,” the Justice Department adds. “At about 3:09 p.m., Greene texted an acquaintance, “Congress evacuated.”” Greene was arrested in Indiana last Thursday, and he was set to make his initial appearance in court last Friday.

In other news related to January 6, the House committee investigating the Capitol riot is rushing new information out to the public. On Monday, the panel announced it would hold another public hearing the following day, despite previous indications its public hearings wouldn’t restart until July. The Tuesday hearing, the panel said, would be “to present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony.” A witness list for Tuesday’s proceedings wasn’t immediately available. Previous committee witnesses have included state officials who faced pressure to illegally meddle with the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, a former elections worker whose life was upended by a deluge of threats in connection to utterly baseless accusations she participated in non-existent election fraud, and a former top official on the team of then-VP Pence.