One of the Oath Keepers charged in a seditious conspiracy for allegedly planning to disrupt the transfer of power on Jan. 6 had a cache of supplies and weapons with him in a hotel in Virginia, prosecutors said Tuesday.
In a court filing arguing that Edward Vallejo should stay behind bars pending his trial, prosecutors also noted that Vallejo had allegedly been prepared to bring in firearms and other equipment to the Capitol on the day of the attack, and that he continued to look for a way “to support the co-conspirators’ mission” even after Jan. 6.
While most of the alleged sedition plot took place at the Capitol itself — in the form of militaristic “stacks” of Oath Keepers who allegedly moved in formation to breach the Capitol — prosecutors say Vallejo was part of the group’s “quick reaction force,” staged at a hotel across the Potomac River in Arlington, Virginia. There were allegedly three teams on the force, one each from Florida, North Carolina and Arizona, the latter of which included Vallejo.
Surveillance video stills from the hotel included in the government’s filing Tuesday purported to show Vallejo (left) in the process of wheeling in “bags and large bins of weapons, ammunition, and essential supplies to last 30 days.”
Prosecutors said Vallejo was “awaiting deployment,” even though orders never came for him to join the fight. Nonetheless, they said, he was a “central player” in the plot to oppose the transfer of power.
“He volunteered to travel across the country to support this plot; stationed himself in a hotel room full of firearms, ammunition, and equipment; affirmed his commitment to the mission during the Capitol attack; and expressed support for the plot in the immediate aftermath of the attack,” prosecutors wrote.
Vallejo, they added, “was prepared to use force against the government of the United States of America and there is nothing to suggest that he has changed his views.”
Vallejo’s attorney has said he will plead not guilty to the charges against him, and he has a detention hearing set for Thursday.
Vallejo was one of just two newly named indictees in the recent seditious conspiracy indictment announced last week. The rest of the alleged co-conspirators in the indictment had already been charged with other offenses. Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers, was the only other indictee who had not been charged before.
According to the indictment, as the attack happened, Vallejo reminded other Oath Keepers that the QRF was ready to go.
“QRF standing by at hotel,” he allegedly wrote to a group chat. “Just say the word…”
And later, after allegedly declaring “We are at WAR,” prosecutors say Vallejo tried unsuccessfully to launch a camera-equipped drone.
By nightfall, Vallejo allegedly wrote, “We’ll be back to 6am to do it again. We got food for 30 days” and “We have only [begun] to fight … ‘After Action Reports’ will be dated 1/21/21” — an apparent reference to Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration day.
The court filing Tuesday asserted that Vallejo’s appeals to violence during the attack weren’t spur-of-the-moment.
In a podcast interview on the morning of Jan. 6, prosecutors alleged, Vallejo “announced his intention to use violence” to fix what he perceived as a broken electoral system.
“You know what I’ve been telling people? I’ve been telling people for years I’m the guy that everybody said, ‘no Ed, you can’t shoot them yet, it’s too soon. No Ed, you can’t shoot the bastards yet, it’s too soon,’” he allegedly said. “Well I’ve been telling them for about five, six months ago. They quit telling me.”
Prosecutors say Vallejo stayed active even after police had taken back control of the Capitol. At 5:46 a.m. the morning following the attack, for example, he messaged a group chat, “We are going to probe their defense line right now 6 am they should let us in. We’ll see.”
Citing a Twitter account that they said belonged to Vallejo, prosecutors argued that he was still defending the Jan. 6 attack — “There was NO INSURRECTION on J6 just a peaceful protest,” the account wrote recently — and announcing his willingness to use violence.
Last month, they noted, he wrote: “I HAVE NEWS FOR YOU … you will NEVER achieve ‘vaccine equality’ as long as I, and others like me, are alive! … I will DIE first, and that’s only when I run out of AMMUNITION!”
This post has been updated.