When the DOJ waited until it had complete criminal cases against eleven Oath Keepers leaders and then rounded them all up at once, it seemed to be trying to pit them against each other to see who would flip first. Since they all got popped at the same time, they now have to think about cutting a deal before one of the others can.
Part of that strategy was going to come down to whether these arrested Oath Keepers ended up getting bail. After all, if they were temporarily given their freedom while awaiting trial, they might not be in such a hurry to flip.
Yesterday a federal judge ruled that Oath Keepers leader Ed Vallejo will remain behind bars while awaiting trial, due to the violence he was vowing to unleash on January 6th, and due to some of the incendiary statements he’s made since.
This is a big deal for two reasons. First, it would seem to increase the odds that Vallejo ends up flipping, as he’s about to start sitting in prison instead of sitting in his tinfoil hat bunker. Second, it potentially sets a precedent for some of these other indicted Oath Keepers leaders to also be kept behind bars while awaiting trial – particularly with the DOJ also seeking pretrial detention for infamous Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes. The more of them who can’t get out on bail, the more they’ll be motivated to hurry up and cut the first deal of the group, which would be the most lenient.
Notably, because these indicted Oath Keepers are the leaders of the group, the only way they can cut a meaningful cooperation deal is if they give up the people on the next rung up the ladder in the January 6th plot – which would be Trump world figures along the lines of Roger Stone or Alex Jones.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report