Soon after a federal grand jury indicted several members of the Oath Keepers on charges of seditious conspiracy, accusing them of plotting to disrupt Congress, prosecutors introduced a surprising piece of evidence: Quotes from episodes of a podcast that had one of the alleged seditionists on as a guest.
Notably, the accused appeared on the show on both Jan. 6 and 7 — immediately before and immediately after the insurrection.
The podcast, TPM reported Wednesday, was “Declare Your Independence,” hosted by Arizona right-winger Ernest Hancock. And in a court filing urging alleged conspirator Edward Vallejo’s detention pending trial, prosecutors quoted Vallejo’s appearance on the show.
“I’m waiting for orders from Stewart Rhodes,” Vallejo told Hancock the day following the attack.
On Thursday — the day after TPM and other outlets wrote about the podcast appearances — Hancock’s website posted an update: The FBI had come knocking.
“They’ve (FBI) listened to the two shows Ernest did with Ed Vallejo and Todd Kandaris on January 6th and 7th, 2021 on the Declare Your Independence with Ernest Hancock radio show,” a post on Hancock’s website read.
“However, all they wanted to talk about was the texts.”
The post then laid out what appeared to be years of screenshotted text messages between Hancock and Vallejo.
And the messages did appear to be in the federal government’s possession: On Thursday, during a detention hearing, prosecutors quoted a message that appeared on Hancock’s website.
“So, have you secured the Arizona Capital yet, slacker?” the message, apparently sent from Vallejo to Hancock on the afternoon of Jan. 6, read. “Waitin’ on you now.”
At the end of Thursday’s detention hearing, Magistrate Judge John Z. Boyle said from the bench that he didn’t consider Vallejo a flight risk — but that he did consider him dangerous, and was ordering his detention.