Oath Keeper Returned to Capitol Morning After Riot to ‘Probe Defense Line,’ Prosecutors Say
A 63-year-old Arizona man charged with seditious conspiracy for his role in the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol said he returned to the scene the next morning for “recon” as Congress was completing its delayed election certification, according to court documents. Edward Vallejo, who prosecutors say told others he was “waiting for orders from [Oath Keeper founder] Stewart Rhodes,” is accused of playing a central role in the far-right paramilitary group’s attempt to thwart the transfer of power to Joe Biden. In a court filing late Tuesday calling for Vallejo to be detained ahead of trial, prosecutors say he continued to plot against the federal government even after the violence of Jan. 6 ended. The next morning, he allegedly messaged other members of the group in a Signal chat: “We are going to probe their defense line right now 6 am they should let us in. We’ll see.” He and other members of a “quick reaction force” he led were apparently also prepared to wage battle in the city for weeks. Ahead of the Jan. 6 riot, Vallejo and others “wheeled in bags and large bins of weapons, ammunition, and essential supplies to last 30 days,” prosecutors wrote.