On Dec. 27, as an example, Mr. Nordean posted on the social media web site Parler asking for donations to purchase protecting gear and communications gear, in line with a legal criticism. Shortly earlier than the riot, prosecutors mentioned, he additionally spoke on a podcast concerning the Proud Boys’ plan to look in Washington in disguise, not in their typical black-and-yellow colours.
In an identical vogue, prosecutors have mentioned there may be proof that Ms. Watkins and two different Oath Keepers charged together with her, Thomas E. Caldwell and Donovan Crowl, premeditated the assault.
Mr. Caldwell, 66, a former Navy officer, suggested his fellow militia members to remain at a specific Comfort Inn in the Washington suburbs, noting that it supplied a great base to “hunt at night” — an obvious reference to chasing left-wing activists. Ms. Watkins, 38, arrange a communications system to be used in the assault on the chatting app Zello, prosecutors mentioned.
In textual content messages obtained by the F.B.I., the three Oath Keepers seem to anticipate — even welcome — battle in the postelection interval. In one message, from Nov. 16, Mr. Crowl tells Mr. Caldwell, “War is on the horizon.” In one other, simply days later, Mr. Caldwell tells Ms. Watkins that he’s “worried about the future of our country.” Then, courtroom papers say, he provides, “I believe we will have to get violent to stop this.”
On Dec. 29, Ms. Watkins wrote to Mr. Crowl concerning the Jan. 6 occasion in Washington.
“Trump wants all able bodied Patriots to come,” she mentioned, including, “If Trump activates the Insurrection Act, I’d hate to miss it.”
As for Mr. Pezzola, his lawyer mentioned he felt betrayed.
“He went to Washington because Trump asked him to save the country,” Mr. Zucker mentioned. “Then he got arrested and Trump went to play golf.”
Adam Goldman contributed reporting.