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Tracking the Oath Keepers Who Attacked the Capitol



Donovan Crowl and Jessica Watkins — both members of the Oath Keepers with ties to its leader — have been accused by federal investigators of coordinating a Jan. 6 Capitol breach in advance and conspiring to obstruct Congress.

Visual evidence shows they, along with a third alleged conspirator named Thomas Caldwell, may not have acted alone. Ms. Watkins and Mr. Crowl first attended President Trump’s rally and then entered the Capitol building in close coordination with at least 10 other people who had been seen wearing insignia of the Oath Keepers, a far-right paramilitary group.

The full identities of the 10 are currently unknown, but after they left the Capitol, all of them can be seen gathered around the Oath Keepers’ leader, Stewart Rhodes, just 70 feet from the building, with Mr. Crowl and Ms. Watkins close by.






Stewart Rhodes

Leader of Oath Keepers

Jan. 6 | East side of the U.S. Capitol

Tracking the Oath Keepers Who Attacked the Capitol

Stewart Rhodes

Leader of Oath Keepers

Jan. 6 | East side of the U.S. Capitol

Tracking the Oath Keepers Who Attacked the Capitol

Stewart Rhodes

Leader of Oath Keepers

Jan. 6 | East side of the U.S. Capitol


Ford Fischer

Mr. Rhodes has warned that if Mr. Trump didn’t overturn the government, the Oath Keepers would be “in a much more desperate, much more bloody war.” Here’s what we know about the group’s movements on Jan. 6.

At the Rally

On the morning of Jan. 6, many of the 10 Oath Keepers we tracked are seen attending the Trump rally near the White House. In the image below, Ms. Watkins is seen with several members at the scene.



Mr. Crowl is also present at the rally, alongside several other Oath Keepers.







Tracking the Oath Keepers Who Attacked the Capitol

Tracking the Oath Keepers Who Attacked the Capitol


Leaving the Rally

Twenty minutes before Mr. Trump’s speech ends — and at the same time that rioters across town first break through the Capitol’s perimeter fence — one of the 10 Oath Keepers we tracked is seen leading several others from that group out of the rally, including Ms. Watkins.


Walking to the Capitol

Several of the Oath Keepers, including Ms. Watkins, Mr. Crowl and at least two others, have now changed into tactical gear, such as bulletproof vests and helmets. Around this time, Ms. Watkins posts a message on the audio app Zello saying: “Trump’s been trying to drain the swamp with a straw. We just brought a shop vac.”


Approaching the Capitol

Minutes after the east doors of the Capitol are breached, Oath Keepers including Ms. Watkins, Mr. Crowl and others we tracked are walking in military-style patrol formation up the steps toward two members already at the top.







Tracking the Oath Keepers Who Attacked the Capitol

Tracking the Oath Keepers Who Attacked the Capitol


Robyn Stevens Brody

Inside the Capitol

All 10 Oath Keepers we tracked can be seen inside the building in and around the Rotunda, along with Ms. Watkins and Mr. Crowl, who are in the selfie video below on the left. In the clip on the right, three of the 10 members are seen praying.


In this photo, Mr. Crowl is seen alongside three other Oath Keepers we tracked.







Tracking the Oath Keepers Who Attacked the Capitol

Tracking the Oath Keepers Who Attacked the Capitol


Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

With Rhodes After the Attack

As the police continue trying to clear the Capitol, Mr. Rhodes is spotted about 70 feet away from the building.

All 10 of the Oath Keepers we tracked are seen near him. Most are in this photo.







Tracking the Oath Keepers Who Attacked the Capitol

Stewart Rhodes

Leader of the Oath Keepers

Tracking the Oath Keepers Who Attacked the Capitol

Stewart Rhodes

Leader of tneOath Keepers


Robyn Stevens Brody

Mr. Crowl and Ms. Watkins are standing off-camera just a few hundred feet away. Both have been spotted with Mr. Rhodes at protests before, including in November at a rally in Washington, D.C.






Tracking the Oath Keepers Who Attacked the Capitol

Stewart Rhodes

Leader of the Oath Keepers

Tracking the Oath Keepers Who Attacked the Capitol

Stewart Rhodes

Leader of the Oath Keepers


Robyn Stevens Brody

On Jan. 19, almost two weeks after the Capitol breach, Mr. Crowl and Ms. Watkins were charged with conspiracy and other crimes. Messages between them and Mr. Caldwell, the third Oath Keeper charged, suggest that Mr. Rhodes was not directly involved in their advance planning.

But in his public statements, Mr. Rhodes continues, as he had in the weeks before the Jan. 6 attack, to encourage supporters to “raise local militias” and prepare for impending civil conflict.

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