House select committee investigators looking into the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol have asked the US Secret Service for information on the relationships between its agents and members of the far-right Oath Keepers group.
After the inquiry revealed in court testimony, members of the group, including leader Stewart Rhodes, said they are in contact with Secret Service agents ahead of rallies for former President Donald Trump after the 2020 election. Members of the Oath Keepers are on trial on charges related to the Capitol attack, including seditious conspiracy.
Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi confirmed to CNN that the Jan. 6 panel contacted the agency and that “a verbal briefing was given to staff.”
NBC News first reported the inquiry.
Guglielmi told CNN that the Secret Service would release records of communications between Oath Keepers and Secret Service agents.
Members of the Oath Keepers occasionally contacted the Secret Service before Jan. 6, 2021, with questions about items that are permissible for rallies, an agency official told CNN earlier this week. Additionally, when agents learned that the group was planning to attend events, agents contacted and met with members.
While it is not common for law enforcement agents to maintain relationships with investigative interest groups, the relationship with Oath Keepers has come under increased scrutiny during the trial.
John Zimmerman, the former North Carolina leader of the Oath Keepers, testified earlier this month that in preparation for the rally, Rhodes said he was in contact with a member of the Secret Service, who offered advice on what weapons were allowed near the rally. Rhodes also stated repeatedly that he was in contact with an agent, Zimmerman said, adding that he did not hear the entire conversation.
CNN has asked the Secret Service for the dates and names of contacts of Oath Keepers contacted, as well as whether the contacts were documented at the time.