The US Justice Department charged six more members of the extremist Oath Keepers group Friday for taking part in the January 6 attack by Donald Trump supporters on the US Capitol.
They were added to the case of three other Oath Keepers already charged as the department seeks to demonstrate a conspiracy behind the violent attack, which temporarily shut down the US legislature and left five people dead.
All were charged with conspiracy to obstruct an official government proceeding, damaging federal property and unlawfully entering a federal building.
The Justice Department said it had arrested Graydon Young, 54 and married couple Kelly Meggs, 52, and Connie Meggs, 59, all of Florida.
It also arrested Young’s sister Laura Steele, 52, of North Carolina, and another married couple: Ohioans Sandra Ruth Parker, 62, and Bennie Alvin Parker, 70.
Several of them had military and/or police backgrounds.
Court documents detailed their communications ahead of the attack on the Capitol, in which they temporarily halted the certification of Joe Biden as winner of the 2020 presidential election.
Multiple pictures exist of the accused at the Capitol, taking part in an organized, military-like column movement to push into the building.
The indictment supports allegations made in Trump’s impeachment trial that they were responding to his call in December to descend on Washington to prevent Biden from becoming president.
In a late December message posted online, Kelly Meggs cited a Trump tweet urging supporters to come to Washington on January 6.
“Trump said It’s gonna be wild!!!!!!! It’s gonna be wild!!!!!!! He wants us to make it WILD that’s what he’s saying. He called us all to the Capitol and wants us to make it wild!!!” Meggs wrote, according to the charges.
So far 229 people have ben charged over the Janury 6 attack, according to the George Washington University Program on extremism.
The Justice Department has focused on the participation of the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, Three Percenters and other groups as it builds a case that the attack on the Capitol was not spontaneous but planned.
In his impeachment Democrats in Congress accused Trump of knowingly inciting insurrection in the attack, but Republicans in the Senate voted en bloc to prevent his conviction.
Separately, the Capitol Police, which were quickly overwhelmed by the hundreds of attackers on January 6, said that six officers had been suspended and another 29 were also under investigation for their behavior during the siege, according to US media.
Some of the attackers have said they were encouraged to enter the building by Capitol Police officers.