We discovered something new about the Oath Keepers: although it's a nonprofit, it is NOT an IRS-recognized tax-exempt entity. That means it doesn't have to publish its financials & that donations are NOT tax deductible.

@jvgarrison @jsvine @SalHernandez
That tax status — being a nonprofit w/o being a 501(c)3 or other charity — is highly unusual b/c it confers few if any tax benefits. But experts say it gives Oath Keepers the "halo effect" of being able to claim its a nonprofit without any of the obligations of transparency.
Oath Keepers seems to use that halo to full effect, using a ".org" domain on its website, soliciting donations to promote its "mission" of supporting & defending the US Constitution & partnering with outside groups that donate to charities as part of their business model.
But the Oath Keepers — founded by Stewart Rhodes in 2009 — doesn't file 990 tax forms or provide any information to the public about its finances beyond an annual list of directors.

In our article, we dug deep to pierce at least some of that secrecy.

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More from @kenbensinger

28 Apr
NEW: Federal prosecutors in Michigan have filed a new indictment agains the men charged with conspiracy to kidnap Gov. Whitmer. Notably the new charges add for the first time language specifically casting the defendants as having "engaged in domestic terrorism"
The superseding indictment includes three new charges against some of the defendants: Weapons of Mass Destruction Conspiracy, Possession of an Unregistered Destructive Device (related to an IED they allegedly made) and Possession of an Unregistered Short-Barreled Rifle
Those expand it beyond the single kidnapping conspiracy count and "weapon of mass destruction" is very sensational sounding. But the domestic terrorism aspect is perhaps the most notable new element, suggesting a new frame to a case first charged more than 6 months ago.
Read 6 tweets
27 Apr
NEW: Oath Keeper Joshua James will not go back to jail or have another detention hearing, despite new evidence presented by the DoJ, a federal judge has just ordered.
James was released on April 9 but a week later the DoJ said it found new video evidence he was more violent than previously thought while in the US Capitol.

But Judge Amit Mehta said the Govt "almost surely possessed this evidence at the time of Defendant’s detention hearing" Image
That evidence, Mehta says, should have been presented @ the hearing. The issue: "whether the judicial officer finds that information exists that was not known to the movant at the time of the hearing and that has a material bearing on" whether detention is merited. Image
Read 4 tweets
17 Apr
BREAKING: the DoJ says it's uncovered new video evidence of Oath Keeper Joshua James assaulting police and screaming “Get out of my Capitol! This is my fucking building!” on Jan 6 and is requesting he be jailed again.

James was released on April 9 after a detention hearing.
Prosecutors said that video from James' phone as well as from two police body cameras show a confrontation with police. James argued in his motion for release that although he entered the Capitol, he had not been engaged in any violence that day.
Another video, apparently recorded by co-defendant Roberto Minuta, shows James "engaging in a confrontation with a line of law enforcement officers forming a barrier between the lobby and the Capitol Rotunda."
Read 11 tweets
16 Apr
Jon Schaffer, founding member of the band Iced Earth and an Indiana-based Oath Keeper, is at this very moment before a federal judge pleading guilty to two federal crimes for his involvement in the Jan. 6 uprising.

This is the first public conviction in any Oath Keeper case
He is agreeing to provide testimony and information to federal law information as part of his plea agreement as well as to turn over any evidence of crimes or their proceeds in his possession.
He's doing this in hopes that prosecutors will recommended a lesser sentence for the crimes he committed.

Here is the "information" the govt submitted detailing the crimes he's pleaded guilty to

Read 6 tweets
14 Apr
Oath Keeper Kenneth Harrelson, in a late Tuesday rebuttal, claims he did't perjure himself, didn't damage property in the Capitol, wasn't a leader of the planning & that "the government’s opposition is based on inferences and conclusions that are not supported by the evidence."
Harrelson points to an April 8 email from prosecutors noting that the Signal chats they've relied up do not "contain any explicit messages to a plan to forcibly enter the US Capitol on Jan. 6."

From the defendant's point of view, that means there could be no conspiracy.
He admits he helped organize Personal Security Details for Trump rallies on Jan 5 & 6 but denies other planning. Stewart Rhodes, head of the Oath Keepers, is quoted in Signal saying another defendant, Kelly Meggs “& his FL team are already set to provide a PSD for Roger Stone."
Read 7 tweets
13 Apr
Just hours after the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, Oath Keeper founder & leaders Stewart Rhodes found himself on the defensive to other members.

"Look, I WAS THERE. I WAS RIGHT OUTSIDE. Patriots stormed in," Rhodes (ID'd by the DoJ as 'Person One') wrote in a group chat.
He was swiftly rebuked by someone called Person Eleven: "This organization is a huge fucking joke. You Stewart Rhodes are the dumbass I heard you were. Good luck getting rich off those Dumb ass PSD donations you fuck stick."
Since then, Rhodes has given numerous interviews and made public appearances downplaying his role in the day's events while also denying anything improper actually happened that day. Last week, his lawyer said the mob was "invited" into the building.
Read 21 tweets

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