The founder of the Oath Keepers, an anti-government group, said that he would “hang f-cking Pelosi from the lamppost” if former President Donald Trump refused to use paramilitary groups to stay in power by force in the days following the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol, according to a secret recording obtained by the FBI.
On Jan. 10, 2021, just four days after the Capitol storming, Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes tried telling Trump to use paramilitary groups to stay in power, according to witness testimony by Jason Alpers, a self-described military veteran and co-founder of Allied Security Operations Group, The Washington Post reported.
Alpers said Rhodes allegedly requested a meeting with Trump because of his “indirect” connection to president’s “inner circle” at the time. Alpers said he recorded the meeting so that he could accurately “provide information to President Trump.”
On the recording, Rhodes told Alpers that if Trump gave up the power of the presidency, “he and his family” would “wind up dead.” Rhodes feared Biden would “turn the Insurrection Act against us.”
Rhodes is also allegedly recorded saying, “Here is the thing, we’re gonna fight. We’re not gonna let them come get our brothers. We’re going to fight, the fight’s going to be ours.”
Rhodes added that if he had known Trump would not invoke the Insurrection Act on Jan. 6, he would have ramped up the violence.
“If he’s not going to do the right thing, and he’s just gonna let himself be removed illegally, then we should have brought rifles,” Rhodes allegedly said on the recording. “We could have fixed it right then and there. I’d hang f—-ing Pelosi from the lamppost.”
Alpers claimed Rhodes wrote the following message for Trump: “You must use the Insurrection Act and use the power of the President to stop him. And all of us veterans will support you and so will the vast majority of the military.”
Alpers said he did not give Rhodes’s message to Trump “because I didn’t agree with the message,” adding that he was concerned associating with “extremist ideologies” would hurt his “relationships and credibility.”
The information Alpers recorded eventually prompted him to contact the FBI. Alpers testified during the trial of Rhodes and four other individuals accused of engaging in a seditious conspiracy against the United States government.