Former Oath Keepers Attorney Ruled Incompetent to Stand Trial on Jan 6 Charges

Former Oath Keepers Attorney Ruled Incompetent to Stand Trial on Jan 6 Charges
Kellye SoRelle, general counsel for Oath Keepers, during a deposition displayed at a hearing by the House January 6 committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 12, 2022. (House Select Committee via AP)
Joseph M. Hanneman

Former Oath Keepers general counsel Kellye SoRelle has been ruled incompetent to stand trial on four Jan. 6 criminal counts, suspending her prosecution indefinitely while she seeks mental health treatment.

At a hearing on June 16 in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., Judge Amit Mehta ruled that SoRelle will not stand trial as scheduled on July 10.

SoRelle’s attorney, federal public defender Horatio Aldredge IV of Austin, Texas, told Judge Mehta that SoRelle would require inpatient mental health treatment as soon as a slot becomes available. Details of SoRelle’s condition were not released.

SoRelle, 44, of Granbury, Texas, was indicted on Aug. 31, 2022, on charges of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction of an official proceeding, i.e. aiding and abetting, entering, and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; and obstruction of justice, i.e., tampering with documents.

SoRelle has been free on her own recognizance pending the start of her trial.

Prosecutors allege that two days after Jan. 6, SoRelle instructed Rhodes and others in an encrypted chat group to delete any comments they had written about “who did what” at the Capitol.

“Delete your self-incriminating comments or those that can incriminate others. Start now,” SoRelle wrote, according to a court filing. “Each of you go back to before the event and scroll forward and hunt down any comment you made that can be used against you, other Oath Keepers, or the org and delete them.”

SoRelle was watching Jan. 6 television coverage with Rhodes at a nearby hotel when Rhodes received a phone call saying violence had broken out at the Capitol. She accompanied him to the Capitol, although neither entered the building, according to Rhodes’s May 2021 FBI interview.

On a motion from federal prosecutors in March, Mehta ordered SoRelle’s case be joined to those of Oath Keepers Donovan Crowl, 52, of Woodstock, Ohio; and James Beeks, 51, of Windermere, Florida. The trial is scheduled for July 10 in D.C.

SoRelle is the former girlfriend of Oath Keepers founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes III, who was sentenced in May to 18 years in prison for seditious conspiracy and other Jan. 6-related convictions.

SoRelle formerly served as the Oath Keepers attorney but relinquished that role in early 2022. She is a Texas attorney and former county prosecutor.

SoRelle had been expected to testify as a defense witness in the first Oath Keepers trial that ran from Sept. 27 through Nov. 29, 2022. But her arrest on Sept. 1, 2022, precluded her from testifying for Rhodes and four other defendants in the Oath Keepers trial.

SoRelle told The Epoch Times in a March 2022 interview that the prosecution of Rhodes and the Oath Keepers was “all a lie” based on a government “setup” carried out by a weaponized criminal justice system.

Oath Keepers were in Washington to provide security, not attack the Capitol, she said.

“Stewart is very honest. Stewart did not have a clue what the hell he was being set up for,” SoRelle said. “I have faith in these guys. I talked to all of them. I know where their hearts were and I was around them at the time. Never once did I ever hear anybody saying, ‘Let’s go do this.’”

Federal prosecutors filed a motion in May seeking to preclude SoRelle from using diminished mental capacity as a defense in her case.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Joseph M. Hanneman is a reporter for The Epoch Times with a focus on the January 6 Capitol incursion and its aftermath, as well as general Wisconsin news. In 2022, he helped to produce "The Real Story of Jan. 6," an Epoch Times documentary about the events that day. Joe has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. He can be reached at: [email protected]
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