Oath Keepers Members List Leaks, Names Are Examined

Anti-Defamation League Center flags people who may work in law enforcement, military
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 7, 2022 4:27 PM CDT
Politicians, Police Chiefs on Oath Keepers Members List
Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers, center, speaks during a rally outside the White House in Washington, June 25, 2017.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

The names of hundreds of US law enforcement officers, elected officials, and military members appear on the leaked membership rolls of a far-right extremist group that's accused of playing a key role in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol, according to a report released Wednesday. The Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism pored over more than 38,000 names on leaked Oath Keepers membership lists and identified more than 370 people it believes currently work in law enforcement agencies—including at least 10 police chiefs and 11 sheriffs—and more than 100 people who are currently members of the military, per the AP. It also identified more than 80 people who were running for or served in public office as of early August.

The membership information was compiled into a database published by the transparency collective Distributed Denial of Secrets. But appearing in the Oath Keepers' database doesn't prove that a person was ever an active member of the group or shares its ideology. Some people on the list contacted by the AP said they were briefly members years ago and are no longer affiliated with the group. Some said they were never dues-paying members. "Their views are far too extreme for me," said Shawn Mobley, sheriff of Otero County, Colorado, adding he distanced himself from the Oath Keepers years ago.

Among the elected officials whose name appears on the membership lists is South Dakota state Rep. Phil Jensen, who won a June Republican primary in his bid for reelection. Jensen told the AP he paid for a one-year membership in 2014 because he "believed in the oath that we took to support the US Constitution and to defend it against enemies foreign and domestic." He wouldn't say whether he now disavows the Oath Keepers, saying he doesn't have enough information about the group today. All of the police chiefs and sheriffs who responded to the AP said they no longer have any ties to the group. (Read more Oath Keepers stories.)

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