Oath Keepers' lawyer arrested in connection with Jan. 6

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A lawyer for the far-right Oath Keepers extremist group has been charged with conspiracy in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the U.S. Capitol, authorities said Thursday.

Kellye SoRelle — general counsel for the antigovernment group — was arrested in Texas on charges including conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, the Justice Department said.

SoRelle is a close associate of Stewart Rhodes, the Oath Keepers' leader who is heading to trial later this month alongside other extremists on seditious conspiracy charges.

Prosecutors say Rhodes and his militia group plotted for weeks to stop the lawful transfer of power. Prosecutors say the Oath Keepers purchased weapons and set up battle plans with the goal of keeping President Donald Trump in office.

SoRelle was present at an underground garage meeting the night before the riot that's been a focus for investigators.

The meeting included Rhodes and and Enrique Tarrio, the former chairman of the Proud Boys extremist group, who is charged separately with seditious conspiracy alongside other members of the group that describes themselves as a politically incorrect men’s club for “Western chauvinists.”

Publicly released video of the meeting doesn’t reveal much about their discussion and prosecutors have said only that one of the meeting’s participants “referenced the Capitol.”

SoRelle told The Associated Press last year that FBI agents seized her phone and provided her a search warrant that said it was related to an investigation into seditious conspiracy, among other crimes. The indictment against SoRelle made public Thursday does not include a charge of seditious conspiracy.

SoRelle told the AP at the time that she had no knowledge of or involvement in the Capitol breach, calling the seizure of her phone “unethical” and the investigation “a witch hunt.”

SoRelle is expected to make an initial appearance in federal court in Austin, Texas, later Thursday.

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For full coverage of the Capitol riot, go to https://www.apnews.com/capitol-siege

Alanna Durkin Richer, The Associated Press