Oath Keepers’ defense ordered to disclose how they are being paid

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A federal judge on Friday ordered defense attorneys for alleged members of the Oath Keepers charged with seditious conspiracy to disclose whether their legal fees are being paid by anyone other than their clients after prosecutors warned of potential conflicts of interest if former Donald Trump attorney Sidney Powell is helping raise money for some of the legal defense as reported.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta of Washington came during a week of rapid developments in the Justice Department investigation of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, which appears to have expanded into broader alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

On Wednesday, federal agents conducted a search at the home of former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, who played a key role in Trump’s efforts to get law enforcement officials to challenge Joe Biden’s election victory. That same day, agents delivered subpoenas and took other investigative steps probing efforts by Trump, Clark and supporters to undo Biden’s victories in a half-dozen key states by creating bogus slates of alternate electors in Georgia, Michigan, Arizona and elsewhere.

In the latest move Friday, Ali Alexander, a right-wing activist who helped organize the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally that drew Trump supporters to Washington, appeared before a federal grand jury in Washington. He had testified in private in December to a House panel investigating the events of Jan. 6.

“I have been asked to appear before the Grand Jury today to testify about the same subject matter as my prior testimony before the Committee,” Alexander said in a statement released by his attorney Paul Kamenar, who accompanied him at both events. Alexander noted he has filed a lawsuit opposing a House subpoena for his and a volunteer’s phone records, but “out of respect for the Grand Jury process” declined further comment on his testimony.

In a since-deleted video on Periscope weeks before the Jan. 6 rally, Alexander said he and hard-line Republican Trump supporters Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Mo Brooks (Ala.) and Paul A. Gosar (Ariz.) “schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting” to change the minds of those who wouldn’t go against certifying Biden’s win.

At the time of this committee testimony, Alexander said in a statement that he “did not plan or participate in any illegal activity.He said in the statement that he was assured when he received a grand jury subpoena that he “was not a target but a fact witness,” and was asked to testify because the committee has not given prosecutors transcripts of its witness interviews.

In the Oath Keepers criminal case, the Justice Department asked the court this week to probe possible financial relationships between attorneys for defendants accused of trying to prevent Joe Biden from becoming president and a nonprofit entity run by Powell, who as Trump’s representative spread false election claims and filed a series of failed lawsuits to overturn the results.

Prosecutors expressed concern that support from Powell’s group could…

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