As Impeachment Ends, Federal Inquiry Looms as Reminder of Trump’s Function in Riot

On Dec. 27, as an illustration, Mr. Nordean posted on the social media web site Parler asking for donations to purchase protecting gear and communications tools, in keeping with a felony grievance. Shortly earlier than the riot, prosecutors mentioned, he additionally spoke on a podcast concerning the Proud Boys’ plan to look in Washington in disguise, not of their typical black-and-yellow colours.

In a similar way, prosecutors have mentioned there’s proof that Ms. Watkins and two different Oath Keepers charged together with her, Thomas E. Caldwell and Donovan Crowl, premeditated the assault.

Mr. Caldwell, 66, a former Navy officer, suggested his fellow militia members to remain at a selected Consolation Inn within the Washington suburbs, noting that it provided a superb base to “hunt at night time” — an obvious reference to chasing left-wing activists. Ms. Watkins, 38, arrange a communications system to be used within the assault on the chatting app Zello, prosecutors mentioned.

In textual content messages obtained by the F.B.I., the three Oath Keepers seem to anticipate — even welcome — battle within the postelection interval. In a single message, from Nov. 16, Mr. Crowl tells Mr. Caldwell, “Struggle is on the horizon.” In one other, simply days later, Mr. Caldwell tells Ms. Watkins that he’s “fearful about the way forward for our nation.” Then, court docket papers say, he provides, “I consider we must get violent to cease this.”

On Dec. 29, Ms. Watkins wrote to Mr. Crowl concerning the Jan. 6 occasion in Washington.

“Trump desires all in a position bodied Patriots to come back,” she mentioned, including, “If Trump prompts the Rebel Act, I’d hate to overlook it.”

As for Mr. Pezzola, his lawyer mentioned he felt betrayed.

“He went to Washington as a result of Trump requested him to save lots of the nation,” Mr. Zucker mentioned. “Then he acquired arrested and Trump went to play golf.”

Adam Goldman contributed reporting.

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