Before the presidential election this year, the antigovernment group Oath Keepers held a webinar on how members could respond to various dire election-related scenarios, including “provacateured post-election unrest and riots” if Donald Trump were to win. Now, Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes is urging his followers to come to Washington, D.C., to “protect peaceable American patriots” against “violent leftists” and “jihadist terrorists.”
In a blog post that he emailed to his group’s members earlier this week, Rhodes said that the “operation needs to be carried out in a low-key and even covert manner,” much like the group’s vigilante poll-watching efforts in November:
We DO NOT expect the radical leftists to be successful in their rather ambitious and absurd plans to disrupt or even stop the Inauguration. We expect them to fail. But we are very concerned about the safety of the patriotic good people who will be there to enjoy the Inauguration, whom the leftists are threatening to assault and attack with violence. Those threats are now so well documented, and of such a clear a present danger, that we are honor bound to act in defense of the peaceable attendees. That is, after-all, what we do. It’s in our blood, in our training, and in our very purpose in life, to be the protectors.
Therefore, we call on those of you who are able-bodied and know how to handle yourselves well, and especially military and police veterans with applicable training and experience, who can remain calm under pressure, to come to Washington DC during the Inauguration and surrounding events (any days you can from Jan 18-20) to protect peaceable American patriots who are now being threatened with assault and other acts of violence by radical leftist groups, as well as to act as additional eyes and ears to “back the blue” and help keep watch on the violent leftists (and to also watch for jihadist terrorists) and spot and report to law enforcement.
This operation needs to be carried out in a low-key and even covert manner, as we did with our Operation Sabot on election day, since that keeps the bad-guys guessing where you are, how many of you are out there, wondering if they are under direct observation, and wondering if they will be caught and interdicted if they attempt to assault a vulnerable potential victim they have targeted.
Rhodes noted that Bikers for Trump and the Three Percenters would be in D.C. tasked with a similar mission, but that Oath Keepers would have a special role:
We know other patriotic groups, such as Bikers for Trump, and some Three Percenter groups, will also be in attendance in strong numbers in DC, and we will do our best to coordinate with them, but the main focus of this effort will be to have widely dispersed, low-key patriot buddy teams, four-man, and eight-man teams working to spot possible violent criminal activity and to interdict bad guys and protect victims of assault until the police can come to their aid.
In a blog post earlier this month, Oath Keepers’ “Navy Jack” warned that the Bikers’ group’s staging area won’t be “close enough to any of the protest groups planned activities to provide any meaningful resistance should the protests spin out of control.”
Shortly after the election, Navy Jack announced that the Oath Keepers had launched “Operation HYPO” to “burrow deep inside” organizations planning inauguration-related protests “to collect information regarding tactics, motivations, schedules and logistics.”