Last week, the armed militia group Oath Keepers caused a bit of a stir when they announced that they were converging on Rowan County, Kentucky, to “protect” anti-gay county clerk Kim Davis from being detained again for refusing to issue marriage licenses. Soon afterwards, the Oath Keepers leadership called off the mission when Davis, through her attorneys at Liberty Counsel, declined their offer of an armed guard to stand off against federal officials, but not before members of the group had already started to arrive in the county.
One of the organizers on the ground for the Oath Keepers’ short-lived Kim Davis mission was Denny Peyman, a former sheriff of Jackson County, Kentucky, and member of the “constitutional sheriffs” movement, which believes that county sheriffs are the nation’s highest law enforcement officers and therefore have the power to unilaterally arrest federal officials.
In an interview with the far-right radio program Liberty Roundtable last Wednesday, the day the Oath Keepers publicly announced their Davis mission, Peyman said that if he had been sheriff when Davis was found in contempt of court for defying court orders to issue marriage licenses, he would have blocked U.S. Marshals from arresting Davis and would have instead personally arrested the judge who found her in contempt.
“I would have loved for that to happen when I was in office,” he said. “It would have been a completely different scenario would have come out of this whole thing.”
“Yeah, Denny Peyman would have bust out and arrested that judge for violating due process, huh?” asked Sam Bushman, the program’s host.
“Exactly,” Peyman responded. “The judges all take care of each other. I’ve turned in enough evidence and stuff and all they do is seal it and make sure it doesn’t get back out. They take care of each other. When I arrested the judge here and stuff, they basically protected him, because they could be next and they know that.”
Later in the interview, Bushman and his cohost Curt Crosby said that the people sheriffs should really be arresting are Hillary Clinton, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and President Obama.
Peyman agreed: “You know, you put a couple of people away, the rest of them might straighten out, you think?”
Update: In a phone call, Bushman disputed the use of the term “far-right” to describe his program, insisting that we instead use the description, “American that believes in and wants to promote God, family and country and wants to protect life, liberty and property and believes and advocates that this nation shall endure.”