A Florida woman linked to the paramilitary group Oath Keepers was released to home confinement pending trial on charges that she conspired with nine other members, including her husband, in the deadly Capitol attack Jan. 6.
U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta said Friday that there is no evidence that Connie Meggs, 59, brought weapons to the Capitol or engaged as a “recruiter” for the far-right group that the government has spotlighted in its wide-ranging investigation.
Prosecutors had claimed that Meggs had participated in weapons training in Florida about four months before the attack, asserting that it was not a mere gun safety class but instruction on “how to go on the offensive.”
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But Mehta said the evidence against Meggs did not appear to be as damning as the alleged actions of other co-conspirators, including her husband, Florida Oath Keeper leader Kelly Meggs.
“She’s not a recruiter, she’s not a leader as her husband appears to be,” the judge said.
Mehta’s decision signaled that Kelly Meggs, slated for a detention hearing later Friday, faces of much more difficult burden. Prosecutors have claimed that Kelly Meggs played a key role in organizing the group’s breach of the Capitol and allegedly coordinated with two other extremist organizations prior to the Jan. 6 attack. The government has alleged in court documents this week that Meggs discussed plans for the assault in Facebook messages with the Proud Boys and Three Percenters.
Members of all three groups have been charged in the assault on the Capitol, and the court documents represented the first time prosecutors had presented evidence of wider coordination among extremist groups.
Late Thursday, prosecutors also alleged that Kelly Meggs was part of a 97-second telephone call Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, who has not been charged and is identified in court documents as “Person One.”
At the time of the call Meggs and other members of the group, moving in a military “stack” formation were attempting to force their way through the double doors on the east side of the Capitol.