Heavily armed Christian militia instructs members to “hunt down” voter fraud on Nov. 8.
The armed group has previously been involved in tense, armed standoffs with federal agencies, and even went to Kentucky to prevent the arrest of Christian martyr Kim Davis after she defied the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality last year.
Now the Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes is urging members to form “incognito intelligence gathering and crime spotting teams” to “document suspected criminal vote fraud.”
Rhodes, president and founder of Oath Keepers, announced “Operation Sabot 2016” on the group’s website, writing:
We call on you to form up incognito intelligence gathering and crime spotting teams. And go out into public on election day, dressed to blend in with the public … with video, still camera, and notepad in hand, to look for and document suspected criminal vote fraud or intimidation activities.
Rhodes told his members that “leftists” were the most likely culprits of any fraud:
We are, indeed, most concerned about expected attempts at voter fraud by leftists, but we will spot, document, and report any apparent attempt at vote fraud or voter intimidation by anyone, of whatever party, as is our duty.
BuzzFeed reports Rhodes sent the “call to action” in an email to members early Wednesday morning, reaching chapters of the militant group.
The controversial and dangerous group claims to protect the Constitution, but the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center describe the Christian militia as an anti-government, right-wing organization composed of members who follow a “sovereign citizen” ideology that questions the legitimacy of the federal government.
The Southern Poverty Law Center reports:
The Oath Keepers are well known for showing up heavily armed in instances of social crisis. Staking out polling stations to thwart voter intimidation is likely to cause more problems than it solves, especially given the group’s own history of frightening locals. Coming at a time of increasing racial tensions, likely armed, mostly white men secretly patrolling voting stations looking for “suspicious” activity is incredibly worrisome.
Bottom line: The fact that this Christian militia plans to support Trump by launching a campaign of voter intimidation targeting “leftists” only reinforces the notion that the Oath Keepers are dangerous vigilantes with no respect for the U.S. Constitution or the rule of law.