An Oath Keepers leader claims she attended former President Donald Trump’s Jan. 6 rally with a VIP pass to provide security to officials and to meet with Secret Service, Reuters reported Sunday.
Jessica Watkins, 38, was charged with conspiring to storm the U.S. Capitol building in an attempt to block the congressional certification of the 2020 presidential election, Reuters reported.
“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,” Watkins’s attorney said, Reuters reported.
One of the leaders in the Oath Keepers conspiracy in the US Capitol attack is claiming she met with Secret Service agents on Jan. 6 — tying the White House closer to the insurrection than previously known.
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) February 21, 2021
Watkins illegally entered the Capitol building, prosecutors said, though she “did not engage in any violence or force at the Capitol grounds or in the Capitol,” according to her attorneys, Reuters reported.
Watkins wore reinforced tactical vests, camouflage helmets and eye protection while in possession of communication devices, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). (RELATED: Prosecutors: Oath Keepers Leader ‘Awaited Direction From Trump’)
She pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, according to Reuters. Watkins entered the Capitol forcefully “with a line of individuals wearing Oath Keeper clothing, patches, and insignia,” prosecutors said.
The U.S. Secret Service only collaborated on security measures with government partners, a representative for the agency said, Reuters reported. “Any assertion that the Secret Service employed private citizens to perform those functions is false,” the spokesperson said.
Watkins was arrested on Jan. 18 and remains in custody, according to the DOJ. She has asked to be granted house arrest pending her trial due to potential “harsh treatment” since she is a transgender woman, Reuters reported.
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