Third Oath Keepers member pleads guilty to Capitol riot charges News
Photo credit: Stephanie Sundier
Third Oath Keepers member pleads guilty to Capitol riot charges

William Todd Wilson, regional leader of the Oath Keepers, Wednesday pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy and obstructing Congress in connection with the Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021.

Wilson, 44 of Newton Grove, North Carolina, joined the Oath Keepers in 2016 and led an Oath Keepers chapter in Sampson County, North Carolina. A court filing accused Wilson of conspiring with Oath Keepers founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes to “oppose by force the lawful transfer of presidential power.” Seditious conspiracy is rarely charged. Prior to the Capitol insurrection, US prosecutors had not brought a seditious conspiracy charge since 2010.

Wilson is now the third member of the Oath Keepers to plead guilty to seditious conspiracy, joining Jon Ryan Schaffer and Brian Ulrich.

In the weeks prior to the Capitol insurrection, Wilson communicated with other Oath Keepers members via “Signal”, an encrypted messaging application. On December 14, 2020, Wilson wrote, “It is time to fight!” Then, on December 30, Wilson sent, “Things are about to get real … and we need to be ready as ever!”

On January 5, 2021, Wilson brought an AR-15-style rifle, a pistol, ammunition, body armor, a camouflaged combat uniform, pepper spray, a large walking stick intended for use as a weapon, and a pocketknife to Washington DC. The firearms, ammunition, and combat gear were left in a hotel room on January 6, and plea documents state that Wilson was prepared to retrieve them if needed.

When he and other Oath Keepers unlawfully breached the Capitol on January 6, he had a pocketknife, neck gaiter, and a beanie hat to mask his appearance. Once inside, he helped a mob push open the Rotunda Doors inside the building.

After the Capitol insurrection, Wilson attempted to conceal incriminating evidence that was stored in his Apple iCloud account. Wilson also threw his cell phone into the Atlantic Ocean to prevent law enforcement from obtaining incriminating evidence regarding his participation in the Capitol insurrection.

Wilson faces up to 20 years in prison for seditious conspiracy and up to 20 years for obstructing an official proceeding. A sentencing date has not been set. As part of the plea agreement, Wilson will cooperate with the federal prosecutors in the ongoing investigation into the Capitol insurrection.