North Carolina Man Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy In Connection To Jan. 6 Attack

A North Carolina man pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy in connection with the Jan. 6th attack on Congress. William Todd Wilson of Newton Grove is one of three members of the violent group the Oath Keepers who plead guilty to the same or similar charges.

According to the Associated Press, Wilson has been a member of the Oath Keepers since 2016 and has been most recently leading the Sampson County chapter of the group. Wilson brought guns and ammunition to a hotel in Virginia on Jan. 5th, 2021 and was armed and masked as he entered the Capitol with others from his group on Jan. 6th.

The Oath Keepers has emerged as one of the largest anti-government extremist groups in the far-right patriot militia movement.  The group is known for recruiting military and law enforcement members to join and, in fact, the name “Oath Keepers” itself is a call-back to the oath such individuals swore to defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic.  The group first grabbed national headlines in 2014 when its gun-toting members took part in a standoff with federal authorities at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada.

The extremist group has chapters spreading throughout the country as well as here in North Carolina. In fact some North Carolina government officials have ties to the violent group.

According to ProPublica, anonymous hackers were able to compile a list of the group’s members and among them were dozens of state and local government officials, all Republicans. According to the list North Carolina Representatives Mike Clampitt and Keith Kidwell are both Oath Keeper members recruited in 2014, and 2012 respectively.

Instead of denying his affiliation, Clampitt claims he only participates in the group by advancing legislation that supports their cause.  So far he has co-sponsored a bill to allow elected officials to carry concealed guns in courthouses, schools and government buildings, and he supported legislation stiffening penalties for violent demonstrations in response to protests in Raleigh over George Floyd’s murder.

It’s hard for Republicans to distance themselves from the Capitol invaders when members of their own party belong to one of the most extreme militant groups responsible for the attack.

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