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Jan. 6 probe sees contacts between Secret Service, Oath Keepers

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Members of the Oath Keepers militia group amongst supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump, on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, January 6, 2021.

Jim Bourg | Reuters

The Jan. 6 Capitol riot investigative committee has obtained records showing that a member of the Secret Service’s protective intelligence division had multiple phone calls in 2020 with members of the Oath Keepers, a far-right militia group, NBC News reported Friday.

The select House committee recently contacted the Secret Service asking for records of all contacts between the agency, which is accountable for protecting the president, and Oath Keepers, NBC reported.

Sources said records showed that the Secret Service worker had contact with Oath Keeper members besides the group’s leader, Stewart Rhodes, who currently is on trial for seditious conspiracy in reference to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot on the Capitol.

Rhodes and his co-defendants are accused of plotting to stop the lawful transfer of power from former President Donald Trump to President Joe Biden.

The committee’s request to the Secret Service was spurred by recent testimony at Rhodes’ trial by the previous leader of the North Carolina Oath Keepers, John Zimmerman.

Zimmerman described seeing Rhodes speaking on the phone with a one that Zimmerman believed to be a Secret Service agent about what weapons group members could carry at an upcoming rally by Trump in September 2020.

CNBC Politics

Read more of CNBC’s politics coverage:

NBC reported that the records obtained by the committee show that the Oath Keepers’ calls with the Secret Service worker ended before a Dec. 12, 2020, rally.

Two Secret Service officials have said that Oath Keepers made quite a few calls on to an agent after obtaining their number, in keeping with NBC.

Secret Service spokesperson¬†Anthony Guglielmi told NBC that members of the Oath Keepers reached out concerning logistics about demonstration areas and rules for attending Presidential events.”

“That is common activity between organized groups and advance agents,” Guglielmi said.

Frank Figliuzzi, a former assistant FBI director who currently is NBC’s national security analyst, told the news outlet that while it is not uncommon for law enforcement to talk with a protest group or a bunch acting as security for an event, regular contact with a militia group comparable to the Oath Keepers raises concerns.

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