The Oath Keepers include current and former military and law enforcement personnel. They traffic in conspiracy theories and violence, including the Capitol insurrection. Will Carless, Grace Hauck, and Erin Mansfield at USA Today quote some members and disclose where the statements came from:
The statements are part of a massive trove of data hacked from the Oath Keepers website. The data, some of which the whistleblower group Distributed Denial of Secrets made available to journalists, includes a file that appears to provide names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of almost 40,000 members.
A search of that list revealed more than 200 people who identified themselves as active or retired law enforcement officers when signing up. USA TODAY confirmed 20 of them are still serving, from Alabama to California. Another 20 have retired since joining the Oath Keepers.
Founded after the election of Barack Obama in 2009 by Yale Law School graduate Stewart Rhodes, the Oath Keepers refuse to acknowledge the authority of the federal government. Members must abide by a declaration of conspiracy-laden orders they will refuse to enforce, including disarming the American people.
Just one Oath Keeper serving in a police or sheriff's department is too many, said Daryl Johnson, a security consultant and former senior analyst for domestic terrorism at the Department of Homeland Security.
More concerning is the fact that the Oath Keepers make their members swear an oath of allegiance, much like the police and military, Johnson said. That creates a dangerous conflict of interest.
“They look at the U.S. government as an enemy,” he said. “When it comes down to a crisis situation or an investigation involving other militias, where is this person’s allegiance? Most likely with the Oath Keepers and not the police department.”