Oath Keepers leader asks to testify before committee investigating Capitol assault

File – A supporter of the far-right Oath Keepers militia during the rally held in Washington in support of Donald Trump, hours before the assault on Capitol Hill. – BRYAN SMITH / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO

The founder of the far-right Oath Keepers militia, Emer Stewart Rhodes, has asked to testify publicly before the U.S. House of Representatives special committee investigating the January 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol.

Rhodes is currently in custody after a federal judge in the state of Texas ordered him in late January after charging him with conspiracy for the riots and deeming him to have the ability to «finance any future insurrection.»

Now, his lawyer, James Lee Bright, has reported that Rhodes «is willing to speak directly to the January 6 select committee», although he has qualified that «he has some conditions» that he considers «extremely reasonable» and that «must be met», as reported by the newspaper ‘The Hill’.

Bright has announced that Rhodes is willing to waive his Fifth Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution — which preserves the right not to testify — although he has pointed out that any statement by his client must be live and in person.

The defendant’s defense is seeking to rule out the possibility of a taped interview for fear that the select committee would show only those moments of the Capitol assault that «benefit the direction they seek as a committee.»

The committee plans to hold a hearing next Tuesday in which it plans to review the role of far-right groups such as Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, and to highlight any connection to former President Donald Trump, who is also being investigated for his role in the Capitol attack.

Rhodes, 56, had used social media on the eve of the attack to encourage his own, «all patriots,» to travel to Washington on a «security mission» to defend «President Trump’s fight.» This support was short-lived, because on the same day of the attack and after lamenting that the former president only knew how to «complain», he said it was time to «take charge».

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