“Do we already have this QRF hotel address?” Harrelson asked in a group signal chat on Jan. 5th.
Oath Guardian Kelly Meggs, who along with Harrelson and 10 other members of the group are accused of conspiring to prevent Congress from confirming President Joe Biden’s Jan. 6 victory, asked for a direct message.
Prosecutors said that within hours of the exchange, Harrelson’s location was near the Comfort Inn in Ballston. But Harrelson didn’t seem to return there until the morning of Jan. 7, they said. Rather, they believe he stayed at a Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Washington for the rest of the visit.
“It is reasonable to believe that during this hour the Defendant Harrelson dropped his weapons with Person Three and the QRF,” wrote US assistant attorney Jeffrey Nestler on the file.
Surveillance material cited by prosecutors also appears to show Harrelson picking up luggage from the Comfort Inn on the morning of Jan. 7, including a bag that prosecutors say is compatible with a “rifle case”.
The contours of the government’s QRF theory are significant. Judge Amit Mehta, who heads the Oath Guards ‘trial, has repeatedly noted the lack of evidence that a QRF existed as a weakness in the prosecutors’ early investigative efforts, despite much discussion among members of the group. Prosecutors have also sought evidence to refute attorneys’ allegations on behalf of the Oath Guards that the group’s planning was not about storming the Capitol, but rather protecting itself from potential violence by Antifa during pro-Trump protests .
The Harrelson File also shows the disagreement that quickly emerged among the Oath Guards after the security forces regained control of the Capitol on the night of January 6th. In signal messages from the prosecutor, a member of the Oath Guardian chat attacked the organization’s national leader, Stewart, on Rhodes – who was stationed outside the Capitol during the uprising – as a “fool” and called the group a “giant” [f—ing] Joke.”
During the exchange, Harrelson stepped in and said, “I didn’t know I was in an unsecured chat with a bunch of shit bags. And blue hawks.” The latter reference, prosecutors say, is military jargon for a “sneaky comrade.”
Prosecutors said that Harrelson sent an email on Jan. 20 pretending to resign from the oath guardians. But they said they consider the email a “farce” because Harrelson stayed in contact with Rhodes well into March.
In a series of March 6 prosecution messages, Harrelson and Rhodes denounced Meggs’ leadership. Rhodes then told Harrelson of plans to reform the Oath Keepers organization, including his intention to “tighten command and control” and treat ordinary members like “stupid private individuals.”
“But hey, that’s how they acted,” adds Rhodes. “So be it.”
The couple posted more messages about the Harrelson lawsuit the next day, and more messages followed in the days that followed.
“Defendant Harrelson’s administrative scrutiny over a chat by the Oath Guards last month – after he pretended to resign from the organization and distance himself from the actions of the national leadership – shows that he poses an ongoing threat to the community.” Prosecutors closed.
Harrelson has been detained at a Florida prison facility pending trial, but seeks Mehta’s consent to reverse the decision. His lawyers have sounded the alarm that Harrelson has dangerously high blood pressure and may not be receiving adequate medical care.
The previous Monday, Mehta had ordered the prison to ensure that Harrelson was adequately monitored and that he could consult his doctor to control his high blood pressure.