Last Updated on January 6, 2022
The leader of the Oath Keepers and two of the men captured on video urging people to enter or proceed into the U.S. Capitol on January 6 have been subpoenaed by the defense to testify in the government’s case against Kelly Meggs, an Oath Keeper accused of conspiring to storm the Capitol.
Stewart Rhodes, Ray Epps, and John Sullivan have been subpoenaed to testify at Meggs’ trial in a move defense attorney Jon Moseley told National File he believes will prove his client’s innocence, and will prove the entire prosecution to be politically motivated.
Rhodes’ presence in Washington, D.C. has been the subject of much skepticism, with Darren Beattie’s Revolver News publishing a series of investigative reports suggesting he may be working with the federal government, or its intelligence agencies, in some capacity.
While many of the Oath Keepers who Rhodes led to Washington, D.C. that day were arrested – some, like Meggs, have been held without bail for nearly a year – Rhodes has not been charged.
Rhodes was voluntarily interviewed by the FBI, but has not been arrested, and the government does not appear to suspect him of committing crimes on January 6.
Epps’ identity became known in conservative circles due to the exhaustive work of Revolver News, which compiled extensive video showing Epps urge conservatives gathered in Washington, D.C. to storm the U.S. Capitol on and before January 6, 2021.
Epps has not been arrested and does not appear to be suspected of committing any crimes.
Sullivan, meanwhile, is a member of the left wing fringe of politics – affiliating himself openly with Black Lives Matter and Antifa – and attended the January 6 protests disguised as a Trump supporter.
Sullivan celebrated as protesters entered the U.S. Capitol, identifying himself as part of the crowd and appearing to urge them to continue the advance, potentially raising questions about his organizational impact that day. Sullivan was ultimately charged and forced to surrender the money he gained from selling his films.
Epps, Moseley contends, will offer the jury reasonable doubt that his client did anything wrong.
“A jury needs to see that Ray Epps went around, on video, telling people to enter the Capitol and beat up police,” said Moseley.
Moseley asked, rhetorically, “Ray Epps is on video doing it, but there’s no evidence Kelly Meggs did it?”
“That means Kelly Meggs is not guilty.”
Most of the known video showing Epps repeatedly urge Trump supporters gathered in Washington, D.C. to storm the Capitol has since been compiled and released on Rumble.
This cut reveals that Epps openly attempted to recruit people to enter the U.S. Capitol at least five times before the civil unrest began on January 6:
Moseley, who also represents Proud Boys Philadelphia chapter president Zach Rehl, believes Epps’ testimony will undermine the government’s cases against several high profile January 6 defendants.
“There is no allegation that either the Proud Boys or the Oath Keepers actually committed any violence, interacted with police officers, or caused any damage,” said Moseley.
He added that prosecutors are making an “abstract case” in which they’re claiming his clients “encouraged someone” to do something – largely depending on out of context text messages from group chats to prove it – even as evidence Moseley says represents Epps’ involvement remains ignored.
“They’re claiming my client encouraged someone to do this thing,” said Moseley, “But we actually see Ray Epps encouraging people to do it on video.”
In the first Revolver News article addressing Epps’ presence in multiple videos, the outlet identified Epps as one of the “primary orchestrators of the very first breach of the Capitol’s police barricades” on January 6. From Revolver:
“Epps and his ‘breach team’ did all their dirty work with 20 minutes still remaining in President Trump’s National Mall speech, and with the vast majority of Trump supporters still 30 minutes away from the Capitol.”
“Ray Epps appears to have worked alongside several individuals — many of them suspiciously unindicted — to carry out a breach of the police barricades that induced a subsequent flood of unsuspecting MAGA protesters to unwittingly trespass on Capitol restricted grounds and place themselves in legal jeopardy.”
Last week, the outlet followed up with a second article that claims to have identified Epps’ “web of unindicted co-conspirators.”
“In a criminal case, someone is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” Moseley told National File. “That means that if there are two possible causes, or two possible culprits, that is reasonable doubt that my client did anything wrong.”
Moseley told National File that Epps’ testimony about his behavior on January 6 and the days before it will likely prove there was no monolithic Oath Keepers or Proud Boys plot to storm the Capitol.
However, the defense attorney stopped short of specifically suggesting Epps worked with the federal government.
“We’re obviously very interested to know what Mr. Epps has to say,” Moseley instead told National File.
Then, Moseley noted that the federal government – and all of its agencies – will be given the opportunity to address his subpoena for Epps to serve as a witness, should any federal agency believe it would be impacted by Epps’ testimony.
Moseley referred National File to the Touhy Regulations, under which “the head of a federal agency may make the determination on his/her sole authority to produce documents and authorize employee’s testimony in response to a subpoena or other demand for information.”
It appears that, should Epps be an official employee of an intelligence agency, including the FBI, then the government would have the opportunity to deny Moseley’s subpoena for Epps to testify.
“My client, and the majority of January 6 defendants, are alleged to have done what we all saw Ray Epps do on video,” said Moseley.
“The government is going to have to respond to this fact.”
“If Ray Epps is telling people to go into the Capitol, then my client isn’t,” he added definitively.
At the same time, Moseley told National File that Rhodes’ testimony should underscore the facts as he presents them, specifically that the Oath Keepers traveled to Washington, D.C. to provide security for high profile conservatives and never intended to enter the Capitol.
“The whole battle with this case is why did the Oath Keepers come to Washington,” said Moseley. “Stewart Rhodes can testify that they came to be security escorts at the permitted demonstrations on the Capitol grounds and at the Ellipse.”
Meanwhile, some have speculated that Sullivan organized part of the civil unrest that occurred that day due to his leadership position within the Black Lives Matter and Antifa movements.
National File published extensive screen shots from Sullivan’s Discord server last year, in which Sullivan explained how he disguised himself as a Trump supporter to attend the January 6 protests.
EXPLOSIVE: Screenshots from John Sullivan's Discord server show they discussed bringing weapons to DC, wore MAGA gear to fool peaceful protesters, and were willingly allowed into the U.S. Capitol by police. https://t.co/XAuJxEQJFQ
— National File (@NationalFile) January 16, 2021
Sullivan recorded himself for most of that day – capturing the video of Ashli Babbitt’s death and selling it to the mainstream media – and seemed to refer to himself as a member of the crowd and part of the civil unrest.
However, unlike Moseley’s client, Sullivan has not been remanded to the D.C. jail for most of the last year.
“Sullivan went inside, took video, and sold it,” Moseley told National File. “He was transparently admitting he did it, he set people up, he went under cover, and he couldn’t believe they pulled it off.”
He added that Sullivan is “clearly a leftist” who “pretended to be a Trump guy” to embed himself in the crowd of protesters.
Meggs is a high profile member of the Oath Keepers who government documents indicate was placed in charge of the group’s activities that day by unindicted Oath Keepers co-conspirator Person One, long believed to be Oath Keepers founder and leader Stewart Rhodes.
Last year, Moseley told National File that he was interested in Epps’ potential involvement with the federal government as it pertained to the government’s case against his Proud Boys client, Rehl.
Recently, National File revealed that the government withheld exculpatory evidence in the form of an FBI interview with another unindicted co-conspirator.
Despite relying on this man’s statements to make their case against Meggs, the prosecutors later argued that his statements to the FBI should not be considered credible.
This man repeatedly told the FBI that there was no Oath Keepers plan to enter the U.S. Capitol.
Moseley has also subpoenaed an FBI agent, the defense training providers the government alleges provided paramilitary education to the Oath Keepers, WMAL radio, the Architect of the Capitol, the former Chief of Capitol Police, the current Chief of Capitol Police, Capitol police officer Harry Dunn, a reporter from the New Yorker, and other federal law enforcement officials.
The trial is currently scheduled for this April.