House Jan. 6 investigators contact ex-Oath Keeper featured in ABC News documentary

Jason Van Tatenhove is in the ABC News documentary “Homegrown: Standoff to Rebellion.”

House investigators investigating the siege of the U.S. Capitol a year ago contacted a former spokesman for the Oath Keepers militia, seeking to interview him about his time with the militia group and its founder, Stewart Rhodes, according to former Oath Keeper Jason. Van Tatenhove and a Congressional source familiar with the matter.

The request to interview Van Tatenhove, who says he left the Oath Keepers in 2018, suggests that House investigators are launching a wide web as they gather information on Rhodes while they wait to see if he will cooperate with their investigation.

Van Tatenhove told ABC News that he plans to answer the panel’s questions, but is seeking legal advice first.

According to Congressional sources, House investigators have been arguing about Van Tatenhove for much of the day, after ABC News featured him in its new documentary “Homegrown: Standoff to Rebellion,” now on Hulu, and in a story online Thursday about his continued efforts to “atone” and “repair” his time with the Oath Keepers.

Investigators issued a subpoena to Rhodes two months ago, requesting his testimony and documents, but Rhodes has not yet appeared before them or produced documents.

“Prior to January 6, Mr. Rhodes repeatedly suggested that the Oath Keepers should engage in acts of violence to secure their preferred election outcome,” the committee said in a statement issuing the subpoena. “On January 6, Mr. Rhodes allegedly was in contact with several of the accused Oath Keepers members before, during and after the attack on the Capitol, and met with some of them outside the Capitol.”

Rhodes, however, has said that he was not on the Capitol grounds until after the violence began, and there is no evidence that he entered the Capitol building. He denied doing anything wrong.

However, according to an ABC News account, more than 20 people charged in the federal investigation of the January 6 riots have alleged ties to the Oath Keepers.

The chairman of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Recently told ABC News that to “put the pieces of the puzzle together,” an upcoming hearing will explore the role of The Oath Keepers and other far-right organizations on January 6.

Now an artist and writer in Colorado, Van Tatenhove served as a spokesperson for the Oath Keepers from 2014 to 2018. He posted stories and posted videos online promoting claims of overreach from the federal government and highlighting Oath Keepers’ efforts to intervene in politically charged matters. . Around the country.

However, he now describes much of what he promoted as dangerous “propaganda” that can create violent clashes.

“And I think we saw the culmination of that on January 6, when the riots occurred on the Capitol,” he said.

Van Tatenhove left the group after he took what he said was “a very tough turn to the right,” associating with white nationalists and Holocaust deniers at the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency.

“I became a propagandist for what they were doing. I feel really bad about it now,” Van Tatenhove said.

Rhodes has insisted over the years that his organization is nonpartisan and only seeks to help people ensure their rights are protected.

Benjamin Siegel of ABC News contributed to this report.

Leave a Comment