“That’s saying a lot by what he didn’t say, he didn’t say not to do anything to the Congressmen,” was the response from an Oath Keeper in response to Trump’s infamous 2:38 pm tweet that asked rioters to “stay peaceful.”

In his tweet, Trump had said, ” Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”

The Jan 6 committee on the Capitol Hill riots played audio logs from Zello – an app that simulates push-to-talk walkie-talkies over a cellphone network which was used extensively by the Oath Keepers, a far-right militia that describes itself as ‘defenders of the Constitution of the United States.’ Chat logs revealed that many of the rioters were using the app. 

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One female militia member had said that she along with others were “in the main dome” and that they were “rocking it.” 

Another, egged the others on, saying that this is what they had “f*****g lived up for,” and everything they had “f*****g trained for.”

A rioter on Zello had said, “[Trump] is not leaving office. I don’t give a s**t what they say.”  

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Prominent amongst the several Oath Keepers charged for seditious conspiracy is Jessica Watkins, a 38-year-old bartender from Ohio. Last year, she had told the Ohio Capital Journal that she headed a local militia called the Ohio State Regular and was a member of the Oath Keepers Militia. In a conversation on a public Zello channel called ‘STOP THE STEAL J6’ an unknown rioter said that all members of Congress had been evacuated, to which Watkins replied that there was “no safe place in the United States” for the lawmakers. 

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In 2021, shortly after the Jan 6 riots, Zello came under intense scrutiny for its failure to moderate its channels effectively. The Guardian had reported a list of over 800 far-right channels to the app company and two hours later the company had deleted over 2000 such channels that were associated with “militias and other militarized social movements.”