Jessica Watkins, who is allegedly a leader of Oath Keepers, claims that she met with Secret Service agents before the Capitol riot and that she was providing security for the pro-Trump rally.
Watkins has been charged and indicted for conspiracy in connection to the Capitol riot on Jan. 6. She claims to have been issued a “VIP pass” to the rally where former President Trump spoke.
“On January 5 and 6, Ms. Watkins was present not as an insurrectionist, but to provide security to the speakers at the rally, to provide escort for the legislators and others to march to the Capitol as directed by the then president, and to safely escort protesters away from the Capitol to their vehicles and cars at the conclusion of the protest,” her attorney stated in her filing on Saturday, CNN reported.
“She was given a VIP pass to the rally. She met with Secret Service agents. She was within 50 feet of the stage during the rally to provide security for the speakers. At the time the Capitol was breached, she was still at the site of the initial rally where she had provided security,” the court filing continued.
(Video Credit: CNN)
Watkins hails from Ohio and was an Army Ranger who served in Afghanistan. She is one of nine individuals whom the Justice Department has indicted. She is being charged with conspiring to storm the Capitol to keep Congress members from certifying Joe Biden’s election victory. The feds allegedly have her on both video and audio in connection to the charges outside and inside the Capitol.
Prosecutors are alleging that Oath Keepers was planning the assault as early as November. They also accuse Watkins of awaiting orders from Trump before taking action.
The alleged leader is also accused of entering the Capitol building by force during the riot, “with a line of individuals wearing Oath Keeper clothing, patches, and insignia.” She has been in custody since mid-January and is pleading not guilty to the conspiracy charges leveled against her.
Watkins is adamantly claiming that she “did not engage in any violence or force at the Capitol grounds or in the Capitol.”
Her attorney, Michelle Peterson, says that her client and others involved believed that the former president would invoke the Insurrection Act to overturn the election of Biden. Watkins believed “they would have a role if this were to happen,” the court filing stated.
“However misguided, her intentions were not in any way related to an intention to overthrow the government but to support what she believed to be the lawful government. She took an oath to support the Constitution and had no intention of violating that oath or of committing any violent acts,” her attorney argued.
The veteran has requested that she be released to home confinement while she awaits trial. She is stating that she risks “harsh treatment” for being a transgender woman in prison.
The Secret Service is denying that they hired private citizens as security.
“To carry out its protective functions on January 6th, the U.S. Secret Service relied on the assistance of various government partners. Any assertion that the Secret Service employed private citizens to perform those functions is false,” a Secret Service spokesperson told CNN.
According to CNN, charges include that “the group coordinated their travel to the pro-Trump event, discussed training and weapons beforehand, suited up in body armor and broke through the crowd heading into the Capitol in a military-style formation.”
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