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Oath Keepers leader charged in Capitol riot claims she met with Secret Service

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jessica watkins

A leader of the far-right Oath Keepers group who was charged in connection with the US Capitol riot claims she was in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6 to “provide security” at the pro-Trump rally and met with Secret Service agents, according to court filings.

Jessica Watkins, 38, was allegedly given a “VIP pass” to the rally where then-President Donald Trump spoke before the siege, her attorneys wrote in a defense petition filed Saturday.

“Ms. Watkins was present not as an insurrectionist, but to provide security to the speakers at the rally, to provide escort for the legislators and others to march to the Capitol as directed by the then president, and to safely escort protesters away from the Capitol to their vehicles and cars at the conclusion of the protest,” the filing states.

“She was given a VIP pass to the rally. She met with Secret Service agents.”

The Ohio native is one of nine people linked to the Oath Keepers charged with conspiring to storm the Capitol in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying President Biden’s election victory.

Prosecutors allege members of the anti-government group coordinated as early as November to attack the Capitol.

The Afghanistan war veteran is also accused of forcibly entering the Capitol building during the siege, “with a line of individuals wearing Oath Keeper clothing, patches, and insignia.”

But in Saturday’s filing, her attorneys claimed that she “did not engage in any violence or force at the Capitol grounds or in the Capitol.”

Watkins, who has been detained since mid-January, pleaded not guilty to the conspiracy charges.

She is asking to be released to home confinement while awaiting trial, noting she is at risk for “harsh treatment” as a transgender woman.

A Secret Service representative said that any assertion the agency hired private citizens to perform security on Jan. 6 “is false.”

With Post wires

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