WASHINGTON, D.C. – Potential jurors are now being screened to decide who will judge the guilt or innocence of the first group of Oath Keepers accused of conspiring to overthrow the government.
Five members of the group head to trial next week to face a list of charges that includes conspiring to commit sedition, a charge that carries a 20-year prison sentence if convicted.
According to a copy of the jury questionnaire obtained by News 6, potential jurors are told it could take four weeks or longer to present all of the evidence in the case.
The questionnaire asks basic questions about the potential jurors background, where in Washington, D.C., they live, if they are employed and how far they went in their education.
The questions quickly turn to Jan. 6, 2021, asking if the potential juror, a close friend or family member has attended a rally, protest, demonstration or a march in the last 5 years.
It asks if they — or someone they knew — was at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and if they feared for their safety that day.
It asks how much the potential juror may have tracked news coverage of Jan. 6, even asking them to list their top three sources for news with the specific newspaper, TV station or website.
Potential jurors are also being asked if they know any of the defendants, including Meggs and Harrelson.
Attorneys for the five defendants will take the surveys and create two stacks: potential jurors to eliminate and potential jurors to keep.
In-person questioning, or voir dire, will begin next Tuesday in a process that’s expected to take at least one week.
In the meantime, potential jurors are being told to avoid watching any news coverage regarding Jan. 6, not to watch any congressional hearings on the matter and not to tell anyone they are being considered as a possible juror.
During a hearing on Thursday, attorneys told Federal Judge Amit Mehta there are still several outstanding motions and disagreements.
Mehta put the attorneys on notice to get the issues resolved, adding that he’s prepared to work weekends if necessary.
A second group of Oath Keepers is slated to go to trial in November.
In all, 36 Central Florida residents have been arrested and charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Read the jury questionnaire here: