Oath Keepers leader wants special master appointed, trial delayed

Jury selection slated to begin Sept. 27

FILE - Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers, center, speaks during a rally outside the White House in Washington, June 25, 2017. A new report says that the names of hundreds of U.S. law enforcement officers, elected officials and military members appear on the leaked membership rolls of a far-right extremist group that's accused of playing a key role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. The Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism pored over more than 38,000 names on leaked Oath Keepers membership lists to find more than 370 people it believes are currently working in law enforcement agencies.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) (Susan Walsh, Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The leader of the Oath Keepers asked a federal judge to appoint a special master to manage the massive amount of evidence in the January 6 investigation, according to a motion filed in federal court on Tuesday.

Judge Amit Mehta denied the motion hours later.

Elmer Stewart Rhodes is charged with conspiracy to commit sedition along with nine other members of the group, including two from Central Florida – Kenneth Harrelson of Titusville and Kelly Meggs of Dunnellon.

[TRENDING: Florida man accused of using fake deeds to take ownership of 2 homes | Hurricane center watching 2 tropical waves. Here’s what to know | Enter to win Kroger grocery gift card | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

According to the motion filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., Rhodes claims he cannot be ready for his trial, which is slated to begin in two weeks.

His attorney claims Rhodes has had only seven months to prepare for trial, and even the preparation has been challenged.

He claims Rhodes has been housed in four jails and currently must be transported to another jail in order to access the evidence database.

He claims Rhodes can only access the computers for two days each week, and the hard drive containing the evidence has not been updated.

He requested a special master, which would categorize the evidence, store it and distribute it.

Rhodes has also asked to be tried separately from the nine others listed in his case.

His attorney wants his client to be tried with another group of Oath Keepers set to go to trial in November.

Judge Amit Mehta denied all of Rhodes’ motions late on Tuesday, saying he would explain his reasons during a court hearing that was previously scheduled for Wednesday morning.

About the Author:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013 and became an Investigator in 2020. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.