December 6, 2022

A member of the far-right Oath Keepers pleaded guilty Friday to seditious conspiracy and obstructing Congress, admitting he was part of a military-style “stack” formation on the Capitol building’s West Front during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot that temporarily halted the certification of the 2020 presidential election.

Brian Ulrich of Georgia, 44 years of age, was indicted in January on a slew of felonies along with other members of the extremist organization, including its leader Stewart Rhodes. He has now agreed to cooperate with investigators against his codefendants.

Capitol riot - Oath Keepers
Alleged members of the Oath Keepers in combat gear in a tactical “stack” formation at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

According to charging documents filed earlier this year, Ulrich was a member of an invitation-only Oath Keepers encrypted text messaging group that included Rhodes. On Dec. 14, 2020, weeks before the riot, Rhodes allegedly texted the group advocating for the use of force to stop the transfer of power from then-President Trump to Joe Biden.

“Well I’m not a solider but I’m focused…so it’s game on time!!” Ulrich was accused of responding. He was later added to a “leadership” group message with Rhodes and others. Prosecutors say the Oath Keepers used this messaging group to plan for the Jan. 6 attack.

“Someone can tell me if I’m crazy, but I’m planning on having a backpack for regular use and then a separate backpack with my ammo load,” Ulrich allegedly messaged in the weeks before the attack. “I will be the guy running around with the budget AR.”

Between Jan. 1 and 5, 2021, the indictment alleges Rhodes, Ulrich, and others “transported firearms, ammunition, and related items” to Washington, D.C. Ulrich then joined codefendants Robert Minuta and Joshua James, driving golf carts towards the Capitol building on Jan. 6, donning battle apparel and gear, charging documents revealed.

James was the first Oath Keeper to plead guilty to seditious conspiracy earlier this year and is also cooperating with the government.

The trio is accused of forming the “stack” and forcibly entering the Capitol building. Other Oath Keepers allegedly formed a similar “stack” on the opposite side of the Capitol building, while an additional group stood by at a nearby hotel with the cache of weapons and supplies.

Ulrich spoke emotionally, his voice trembling during Friday’s plea hearing. Judge Amit Mehta accepted his guilty plea on two counts and will ultimately impose a sentence. Ulrich faces decades in prison, but will likely receive far less in exchange for accepting responsibility and cooperating with investigators.

He previously joined other codefendants including Rhodes in an effort to get some of the charges on the indictment dismissed, but after Friday’s guilty plea, will no longer take part.

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