Federal prosecutors have charged the 14th member of the Oath of Allegiance with involvement in the Capitol Rebellion, claiming that a New Jersey man was involved with the group in the case. Founder Stewart Rhodes He was invited to a “Leadership Meeting of Multi-Patriotic Groups” in southeastern Pennsylvania a few days before January 6.
According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in the District of Columbia, James Brehani sent a message to Rhodes that the meeting was “the last chance to arrange before the event. This meeting will be for leaders only. ”
An unstamped complaint Thursday alleges that Brehni reached Rhodes on Dec. 21 to invite him to a meeting in Quarryville, Pennsylvania, on Jan. 21. At the time he sent Rhodes a message from an unnamed third party: “This will be the day to receive our coms with many patriotic groups, shared rally points and so on.” Prehani added that no cell phones would be allowed in the meeting, and to make sure no one could record the conversations, the lawyers wrote in their complaint.
Brehani complained that he had sent a text message to Rhodes informing him that someone had rented a building for the meeting, but it did not provide further details. If the meeting goes as planned, it will indicate that there is more coordination and preparation among the anti-government groups than previously revealed, and that the oaths will work in conjunction with other organizations.
Brehni, a resident of Fair Lawn, New Jersey, was arrested Thursday and charged with obstruction of the building, violent entry and obstruction of official business. Could not access him for comment. A lawyer did not appear in federal court on his behalf.
According to prosecutors, Brehani voluntarily entered the Capitol on January 6, “boasting about gaining entry” in text messages sent at the time, but a week later he lied to law enforcement about his role, saying “he did not intentionally enter and was pushed inside by a popular uprising.”
Surveillance cameras and other video footage showed Brehni entering the building, and in the days following the Capitol riots, prosecutors accused him of removing evidence from his phone and from his entire Facebook account, which used the screen name “Seam’s Evers.”
In a message on January 6, Brehani wrote, “We broke down the door, baby!” Following the news, prosecutors accused him of “destroying chats”.
In April, the FBI issued a search warrant on Facebook for a review of the contents of that deleted account, which contained photos of Brehni in the Capitol. Hours before the capitol was breached, prosecutors said Rhodes Brihani was added to a group chat on “DC of: January 6 21” on a news service signal encrypted under the pseudonym “Seamus”. The group appears to have removed the contents of the chat from his phone, but investigators were able to review it by looking at the phones of others in the chat.
Since late January, prosecutors investigating the Capitol uprising have indicted 13 people associated with the affidavit, which the judiciary refers to as a “loosely organized set of individuals”, some of whom are associated with militants.
One of those people was John Schaefer, He pleaded guilty last month And agreed to cooperate with the investigation. The remaining dozen or so defendants face conspiracy charges for their part in what prosecutors say was a deliberate and concerted effort to interfere with the Electoral College’s certification. That case is the biggest to emerge from the Capitol riots and is due to conspiracy charges, Arguably the most serious.
It is unclear whether Brehani will be included in the conspiracy case, which began with three defendants. All 12 defendants in that case have pleaded not guilty. Despite Rhodes Clear focus of investigators, Who closely described his messages and movements before and after January 6 in several court cases, has not been charged.
According to the website of the New Jersey chapter of Truth Keepers, Brehni is the Bergen County coordinator of the group. In an online photo, he appears in a military uniform with a patch, indicating he is a member of the New Jersey Lightfood Militia, a local chapter of a national group Considers himself a constitutional fighter But not part of the oath.
In 2016, Brehni seems to have Bergen is running as a Republican for the county commissioner Status (called a freeholder at the time) but was primarily removed. He worked as a valve technician for Magnatrol Valve Inc., according to media reports. For a post on the oath Website, Brehani joined Rhodes and other members of the group during the inauguration of former President Donald Trump in January 2017 to support “local military and police efforts to provide event security and public safety.” “All stand-up patriots,” Rhodes commented, adding that Brehni and other truth guards from New Jersey and New York who attended the event.