A federal grand jury has indicted Kellye SoRelle, a former lawyer for the extremist Oath Keepers group, on four counts, including conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and obstruction of justice.
SoRelle was also charged with a single misdemeanor of entering a restricted building and, to accompany the conspiracy to obstruct charge, the Department of Justice also indicted SoRelle on a single charge of obstruction of an official proceeding for her alleged conduct leading up to and on Jan. 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol.
Unlike several of her Oath Keeper cohorts, including the group’s former leader, Elmer Stewart Rhodes, SoRelle is not being charged with seditious conspiracy. Rhodes’ seditious conspiracy trial will get underway on Sept. 26.
RELATED STORY: Oath Keepers seditious conspiracy trial update: Trial will start in September
From December 2020 through January 2021, prosecutors say SoRelle knowingly engaged in a plot to impede the certification of the 2020 election by Congress and corruptly attempted to “persuade other persons” to withhold records or documents from a grand jury investigating the Jan. 6 attack, the indictment notes.
USA v Kellye SoRelle by Daily Kos on Scribd
If convicted, just one of SoRelle’s felony charges equates to a max sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
She is to appear in court in Austin, Texas, on Thursday. An arrest warrant was issued on Wednesday, court records show, but she was picked up by authorities in Junction, Texas, Thursday morning.
Since Rhodes’ arrest, SoRelle has been increasingly vocal on social media platforms like Twitter, defending the actions of those Oath Keepers currently facing seditious conspiracy charges between offering harsh critiques on the Justice Department and less than subtle suggestions of a “deep state” conspiracy at play to rig elections against Republicans.
Around the same day her arrest warrant was issued, SoRelle retweeted a crudely-crafted meme online depicting Lady Justice blindfolded by dollar bills, her familiar scales imbalanced by stacks of cash and a globe in chains. Encircling Lady Justice were the words: FBI, CIA, and DOJ. The original poster wrote: “Fire them all!”
When she retweeted it, she added her own Trump-echoing commentary: “Or just clean out the swamp!”
A day before that, SoRelle was busy lamenting the 2020 election results on Twitter while hurling insults at former Attorney General Bill Barr and calling him a “sellout.”
“He sold out our country along with the rest of the globalists,” SoRelle wrote in response to a story in Washington Examiner. The right-leaning paper noted how Barr said that former President Donald Trump had called him a “fucking loser” during his time in the White House.
Barr cooperated with the Jan. 6 committee’s investigation at length and provided pertinent evidence, including testimony that Trump was told expressly and repeatedly that the 2020 election was not rigged and there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud, as he insisted. None of those warnings penetrated, however, and the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was rooted in the continuation of that lie.
The indictment released Thursday was short on details, but those who have followed the Jan. 6 investigation may recall SoRelle from her participation in a Jan. 5 meeting at an underground parking garage in Washington, D.C.
That meeting was filmed by documentarian Nick Quested, who testified to the Jan. 6 committee earlier this summer. Quested was allowed to film the meeting that came just one day after Henry “Enrique” Tarrio was arrested for the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner at a prominent church near the White House. When he was released, Tarrio was told to leave D.C. in short order. But instead of leaving right away, Tarrio met with Rhodes at the D.C. garage instead. They were joined by the leader of Vets for Trump, Joshua Macias, and the leader of Latinos for Trump, Bianca Gracia. The meeting stretched for roughly 30 minutes.
Quested recorded much of that meeting, but told Daily Kos this June ahead of a public appearance before the Jan. 6 committee that there were moments he was told to leave, so he couldn’t be certain of the contents of their entire conversation.
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SoRelle has defended the meeting as totally innocuous, saying online last October that the meet-up was about discussing legal strategies for Tarrio. But prosecutors say the conversations recorded on Jan. 5 in the garage by Quested included mentions of the U.S. Capitol.
SoRelle, who served as a volunteer with Lawyers for Trump during the 2020 election, testified before the Jan. 6 committee privately. SoRelle also spoke to NBC News in July. In that interview, SoRelle said Rhodes had once asked her to put him in touch with the Trump White House.
“He was hitting me up for a contact. He didn’t have any access points,” she said.
Rhodes, she said, drew up a letter calling on Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act and asked her to give it to Trump. SoRelle claims she declined that request. She’s historically boasted of connections to Trump’s attorneys, including Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, but when questions have come up over whether she was ever in direct talks with Trump before Jan. 6, she has said she was not.
‘[I] wasn’t, like, communicating with Trump directly,” she told NBC.
SoRelle also told the news outlet that she never connected Rhodes to anyone else inside Trump’s camp, either.
Prosecutors seized SoRelle’s cell phone last September during its investigation of Rhodes and other Oath Keepers now facing seditious conspiracy charges. Though she was on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, she did not go inside the building. She did, however, deliver remarks at a rally near the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Amid her claims that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, she also demanded new elections take place generally.
“Any action taken by any elected official at this point is illegitimate, is theft. ... We have no duty to comply going forward,” she said on Jan. 6.
The former counsel to the Oath Keepers has also described Jan. 6 as a peaceful event. She’s alleged that law enforcement at the Capitol not only failed to tell her people couldn’t breach the building, but also asserts that those who did enter the Capitol were not told to vacate.