Who is Kellye SoRelle, the lawyer for the Oath Keepers arrested in connection with 6 January attack?
Another member of the far-right extremist group has been charged with offences related to the insurrection attempt on Capitol Hill.
On Thursday an attorney with close links to the Oath Keepers was charged on four counts relating to the attack on the Capitol on 6 January 2021.
Kellye SoRelle is a general counsel for the Oath Keepers, the right-wing militia group who are thought to have helped coordinate the violence last year. SoRelle appeared in a federal courtroom in Austin, Texas on charges including obstruction of justice and obstruction of an official proceeding.
Speaking to CNN, SoRelle claimed she had been cooperating fully with the Justice Department’s investigation and has handed over cell phones related to the probe. She said: “I’ve done interviews. I’ve done everything. I’m helping them.”
She is not representing any members of the Oath Keepers in any cases related to the insurrection attempt. After her first courtroom appearance she was not detained and has been released from detention with conditions.
How is Kellye SoRelle connected to the Oath Keepers?
NPR report that SoRelle is a long-time associate of Oath Keepers founder and leader, Stewart Rhodes. Earlier this year Rhodes and a number of other Oath Keepers members were charged with sedition and other crimes for their alleged roles in the 6 January attack.
After Rhodes was charged, SoRelle became the ersatz leader of the far-right group. She has been praised publically by Rhodes, who introduced her at a rally in March 2021 as a “patriot lawyer from Texas.”
In turn, SoRelle has maintained that Rhodes is innocent:
“He is not guilty of any of the outlandish charges and the organization stands with Mr. Rhodes. I would like for the political parties and politicians to stop dividing the people and using us to promote agendas for their own personal financial gain.”
She really came into the public awareness in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election and was a part of the outlandish attempts to overturn the election result. She was part of a group called Lawyers for Trump in Michigan, who attempted to find evidence to support the former President’s election fraud lie.
She told a federal judge that the Biden administration and “every member” of Congress were illegitimate, claiming that she had “witnessed the theft of the election firsthand.”
In another case she referenced The Lord of the Rings in her legal brief. “Gondor has no King,” she argued, attempting to draw a comparison between the mythical kingdom and two branches of the US government.