Oath Keepers member to plead guilty in U.S. Capitol attack-prosecutors

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Capitol Building is stormed by a pro-Trump mob on Jan. 6, 2021

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -A member of the right-wing Oath Keepers militia is due to plead guilty on Wednesday to conspiracy and obstruction charges for taking part in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, federal prosecutors said in court papers.

The man, Mark Grods, joined a formation of Oath Keepers who rode to the Capitol in golf carts and breached the Capitol along with hundreds of supporters of then-President Donald Trump who were trying to stop Congress from certifying his defeat in the November election.

More than 500 people have been charged with taking part in the attack, which left five dead including a Capitol Police officer. Grods is one of a group of more than two dozen members of the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys and Three Percenters facing more serious charges including conspiracy and obstruction.

"While walking through the restricted area and toward the Capitol building, Grods and others known and unknown moved together in a military 'stack' formation with hands on the shoulders of those in front of them to communicate and effectively move toward the Capitol," prosecutors said in the court filing.

Grods entered the Capitol carrying "a large stick," they said.

In the days before the riot, Grods had communicated via the encrypted app Signal about plans to travel to Washington and whether he should bring weapons, they said, adding: "Grods brought firearms to Washington, D.C., and eventually provided them to another individual to store in a Virginia hotel."

Prosecutors said their investigation of Grods was related to an "ongoing grand jury investigation" of a group of Oath Keepers who face criminal charges in connection with the riot.

Brian Lockwood, a lawyer for Grods, said his client had no comment. Another Oath Keepers member, Graydon Young https://www.reuters.com/world/us/member-oath-keepers-plead-guilty-role-us-capitol-attack-2021-06-23, last week pleaded guilty to similar charges.

(Reporting by Mark Hosenball in WashingtonEditing by Scott Malone, Howard Goller and Matthew Lewis)

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