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Arizona Oath Keeper Described as 'Cooking for Protesters'...

•,by Rachel Alexander

A jury convicted Arizona Oath Keeper Edward Vallejo of seditious conspiracy and other charges on Monday for his involvement with the protest on January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol. Three other Oath Keepers were also convicted of that and other lesser offenses. The 63-year-old Army veteran's defense attorney, Matthew Peed, said he plans to appeal.

"Ed brought 30 days of food with him, not just for himself but for a group, and he believed he was going to a campground where he would set up a food kitchen and cook for protesters," Peed defended Vallejo's role during opening statements. "And it would be kind of a, kind of like a festival."

Vallejo worked security for Donald Trump associate Roger Stone on the day before January 6, at the Rally to Save America at Freedom Plaza. He and other Oath Keepers paid for four rooms at Comfort Inn in Arlington, Virginia, and Vallejo never left the hotel during January 6. Vallejo, who works as an Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor in his free time, was not arrested until a year after January 6. Peed said he never took any action, and he thought he was merely supporting peaceful protesters. Vallejo did not go to the Capitol or deliver weapons there. He brought 200 pounds of food and supplies, intending to cook for those participating in the protest.

When Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, a graduate of Yale Law School, suggested Vallejo and others delete their texts in a group chat, Vallejo declined, stating he had nothing to hide. "Oh, I got that (call to delete evidence) but I didn't do anything wrong and I was at the hotel when things got wonky," Vallejo texted Rhodes, adding, "running and hiding is what GUILTY people do."

Since the Oath Keepers, who always carry firearms, had weapons in their hotel room, the prosecution asserted that the group had "stockpiled" an "arsenal" in preparation for violence. But Peed said its "quick reaction forces" were a defensive group only, ready to come to the defense of any Oath Keeper who needed protection.