In documents filed by the Department of Justice against members of the Oath Keepers militia in recent days, prosecutors reference podcast appearances by Edward Vallejo, one of the Oath Keepers indicted for seditious conspiracy in an attempt to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. Vallejo, however, was not the only Oath Keeper to appear on the podcast series. And some of what Vallejo and others said, in their exchanges with the show’s sympathetic host, sheds light on the mindset and role of the Oath Keepers and their expectations that President Trump would act in concert with their efforts.

What’s more, in podcast appearances after the attack on Jan. 6, the Oath Keeper’s founder and leader, Stewart Rhodes, discussed his strategic goals for the militia movement’s future in terms that reflect the diffuse threat these militia groups pose in different parts of the country.

Just Security has located and reviewed appearances by the Oath Keepers on the podcast — Declare Your Independence with Ernest Hancock –– and reviewed four episodes that feature members of the Oath Keepers including Vallejo and Rhodes.

The Justice Department alleges Rhodes led the Oath Keeper’s seditious conspiracy. Vallejo allegedly served on a heavily armed team staged at a hotel in Arlington, Virginia that ran operations on Jan. 6 and was prepared to serve as a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) in the case of escalation. A third Oath Keeper whom the DOJ identifies as “another member of his Arizona QRF team,” is identified on the podcast as Todd Kandaris, appearing alongside Vallejo. There is no public record that Kandaris has been arrested or indicted for events at the Capitol.

In an interview on the morning of Jan. 6, Vallejo said, “We have a little bit of inside information with the powers that would oppose the powers that be, but this is a tinderbox. It just is a question of what is the precipitating event.”

In a Jan. 15 appearance on the podcast, Rhodes — in unguarded comments he made while assuming he was off the air — expressed disappointment with President Trump for not using the powers available to him to take action. “Trump is the giant vagina. That’s what I think.” Rhodes had previously called on the President to use the Insurrection Act to prevent the transfer of power.

The episodes include:

Morning of January 6th, 2021: Vallejo and Kandaris describe their arrival in Washington DC, participation in events including serving as security for prominent figures, and plans for the day ahead. Listening to the audio reveals the intensity of Vallejo’s expressed intent to escalate if events do not work in Trump’s direction, and the two discuss the important role of the U.S. military.


Kandaris: I think the primary things are to really create a plausible show of evidence that there was significant voter fraud, and then to take the next constitutional action dictated by the fact that that is the case. So that would mean that we take it. It’s very clear constitutionally, what the next steps are if fraud exists, and that this vote will be done by one vote, one state. Now, I have no idea what machinations are going on in the halls behind the scenes that the general public cannot see, but we have definitely come to a head where there are many, many citizens here in the DC and surrounding area, more coming in by the minute that’s got to apply pressure,that, that they’re under that the powers that be are under scrutiny and that this would be very difficult, under these circumstances, to pull a fast one. So, there are, we, we had generals. We were security at the event last night in Freedom Plaza. We had high profile speakers. We had generals coming in. We even, and for, to me for a lesser extent, but maybe for others, Alex Jones spoke and some other individuals…

Vallejo: Owen Shroyer.

Kandaris: Oh, Ed’s here, I’ll let him continue in a second. But basically the idea is, look, we’re here. We’re applying as much pressure as we can. The only and obvious next step is to go into armed conflict, but hoping very much that that doesn’t happen.

Hancock: Is that, is that a possibility? Is that on the table? I mean, you know, it’s, uh…

Kandaris: Well, everything’s on the table.

Hancock: I mean, you know, everybody’s, we’re gonna protest and we’re gonna be really, really, you know, really mad, you know, we’re gonna be really, you know, gosh, darn I didn’t like it until.. if you don’t have a credible threat then, I mean, you know, it’s tar and feathering time?

Kandaris: Go away or I will taunt you a second time, right?

Hancock: I’m sorry?

Kandaris: It’s the old Monte Python “go away, or I shall taunt you a second time.” Right? But the fact is that there are people here who are prepared, have the will, have the facilities, to do more than taunt. The question is, you know, is there a shot heard around the world moment? The possibility definitely exists.


Kandaris says: “We have a little bit of inside information with the powers that would oppose the powers that be,but this is a tinderbox. It just is a question of what is the precipitating event.”

Vallejo then says that Steve Bannon’s War Room has just reported that Senator Chuck Grassley will preside over the Senate that day rather than vice President Mike Pence because Pence is not expected to be there.

[Note: Roll Call reported the same statement by Sen. Grassley before the senator’s office then submitted a revised one.]


Vallejo says: “[M]y gut feeling and that’s the one I’m gonna go with, is we are going to be told the American people are going to be told today that we have liberty and justice for all, or they’re gonna be told, ‘fuck you.’ Okay. And if, and if they’re told, ‘fuck you,’ that’s going to be the declaration of a guerilla war.

Vallejo: I’m just praying to God that Trump has his head on fucking straight and he knows what he’s doing. He’s got the machinations behind him. He’s got all the proof in the world, and he’s gonna bring the hammer down.

Hancock: I hope so, but I, I…

Vallejo: You know, that’s the only, that’s our only, only hope that if, if that doesn’t happen, the shit is on.

Hancock: Right. I, I, I hope so that he actually does because I’m not, I, I I’m my biggest concern is everybody, um, depending on somebody else to fix it for him, you know, let’s get…

Vallejo: Well’s that’s fine. No, that’s fine, Ernie, because I’m the motherfucker that’s gonna fix it for them. If they tell me today, it’s broken.

Hancock: Well, I, I don’t need Ed to fix it for me either, but you fix it for you. You go fix it for you. Well, let, let Todd…

Vallejo: You know what I’ve been telling people?You know what I’ve been telling people, Ernie? I’ve been telling people that for years, I’m the guy that everybody said no, Ed, you can’t shoot ’em yet. It’s too soon. No, Ed, you can’t shoot the bastard yet. It’s too soon. Well, I’ve been telling ’em about five, six months ago. They quit telling me.

Kandaris: This is, as we say, that moment of truth. … The people who controlled Rome controlled the army, okay. They controlled the military. If you have the loyalty of the military, then the rest doesn’t matter. And we can make anything pretty and modern about it. But that brutal truth is still the determining factor about who controls what. So if he has the military behind him, Trump will win. If he does not, he won’t.

Hancock: Well, what do you think?

Vallejo: I don’t have enough inside information to know, but my inclination is that he probably does.

January 7th, 2021: Vallejo and Kandaris reflect on the events at the Capitol, and on what the next steps may be to resist the transfer of power.


Hancock: So now election fraud. That’s just not an issue anymore? That goes away? Are we done?

Vallejo: You’re asking me? I’m never done.

Kandaris: At this point, you know, we’re sitting here in, you know, our digs, if you will ruminating over the events and trying to calculate what next steps are.

Vallejo: I’m waiting for orders from Stewart Rhodes.

Hancock: Huh? Yeah, Ed. That’s Ed, you know, that’s one thing, Donna, get Stewart Rhodes on. Yeah, go ahead and call. Yeah, we haven’t talked to Stewart in a while. All right. Well, Oath Keepers. Stewart Rhodes. They got a plan.

Vallejo: I should get him on a three way call right now and put him on.

Hancock: Ah it’s too late now, but, um, we’ll, we’ll, we’ll get ’em on the, um, so go ahead and gimme, what do you think is gonna happen now, Todd? You know, you’re staying, you’re just starting to talk about, you know, what now. What’s your, what now?

Kandaris: Well, here’s the thing. We are here prepared in all aspects to support the Constitution and, and honor our oaths that we took. I mean, where we wanna support the Constitution. The issue here then is what mechanism do we have to do that? Are there more people coming? If they do what’s gonna happen? It’s not really plausible to non violently protest anymore because the entire area is closed off and corded and curfewed. So the question becomes when we realize that this wrong has been done, uh, what are the next steps? I mean, is this the shot heard ‘round the world moment? I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t have omnipotent and omni, excuse me, omniscient intel on what the situation is. We are here, because we want to know what develops. We’re staying here to allow these things to develop so that we can judge our position relative to what political events occur. What, what happens. This relies on a lot of things. How angry are people, did they successfully manage to get this done without any real reaction from the American public? Because a few guys here who wanna maintain the constitution aren’t going to do anything, America has to get mad. And if America doesn’t get mad, then we’re utterly useless.

January 15th, 2021: Stewart Rhodes discusses the events of January 6 and describes his strategic considerations for the future. He discusses how militias should become local forces, and his broader view of the need for elements of the U.S. military to side with militia movement.


Hancock: I’m the, um, well we can use the, the break to kind of get caught up on some of the other stuff, you know, give me, gimme the, uh, I’ll sum it up when we come back.

Rhodes: I don’t, I do not wanna, I don’t wanna discuss particulars of what, what anybody might have done inside the building. Okay. You know what I’m saying? So yeah. Don’t ask me about…

Hancock: Yeah, I don’t care. That’s not, I don’t care. You know, my, my whole thing is that, um, you know, Oath Keepers in general and the individuals, that’s up to individuals, but uh, you and Oath Keepers and how it’s going and how it, you know, uh, built up or not during Trump and now that Trump’s gone, and what do you think Trump’s gonna be doing? What’s the inside scoop on? He’s just gonna go golfing or…

Rhodes: Trump is the, Trump is the giant vagina. That’s what I think. I think Trump is a blowhard. He just wanted to be president and he ain’t gonna do shit. Just between you and me. He’s not doing a damn thing… (unintelligible) steal the election.

Hancock: We’re recording. So don’t be…

Rhodes: Oh, I thought you said we were on break.

Hancock: We are. But that doesn’t mean we don’t record…

Rhodes: Oh for crying…. You’re worse than the fucking NSA, Ernie.

Hancock: I tell you it’s, it’s in every freaking communication. Donna says ‘we record during the break.’ Nobody ever reads it, and you cuz you were late, she didn’t tell you again coming on, so it’s your fault. So I don’t wanna hear it.

Rhodes: Whatever, you know what? I don’t care anymore. Screw Trump. He didn’t do what he was supposed to do. He, he could do a massive, we should talk about this when we come off break. He could still do the right thing and do a massive declassification and data dump and expose the deep state, expose all of the corruption…

Hancock: Yeah, I’m wondering, what’s real going on. See, this is my biggest concern. We were doing the Trump report for five years. Every week.

Rhodes: He’s getting a deal for himself. That’s what’s going on.

Hancock: Exactly.

Rhodes: It’s about the art of the deal.

Hancock: I’m going, I’m going well, he was always trying to do a deal. Everything was a deal, you know, I’m going, he is gonna be negotiating my future and my rights away for some deal to get, to make a, you know, a headline of I did something, you know, I, I, yeah, but I did this, this, this, this, this and this. And I go, I don’t feel any freer, you know? So you moved the, the, the embassy in Israel. Okay, cool. Yeah. You, you eliminated some, uh, uh, we haven’t gotten into a big giant war. Okay. I’ll give you that. Um, let’s see, what else has he done?

Rhodes: Yeah, That was good.

Hancock: You know, we’re out of the TPP, we’re out of the Paris Accords. We’re out. I mean a lot of these things better not, but I’m like, you know, you didn’t fundamentally change anything. You know, where, where… Q’s been promising all this frog marching of a long line of indicted somebodies, you know what was that? You know, that seemed like a, you know, a PSYOP from the beginning. So I’m, you know, yeah. You can talk about Q and what he did and didn’t do. And now what’s Oath Keepers and a lot of the, your people that supported him…

Rhodes: Q was a total… Q was nothing but a giant PYSOP, what they call a lullabye operation to make everyone sit around and wait for these magical happenings that never happened.

Hancock: Yeah it’s always, that’s my biggest concern that I, I kept emphasizing. I’m going, the problem is that you see what Americans, all people in general always do. They’re waiting on somebody else to fix it for ’em, you know? And it’s like, you can’t, there is no somebody else. It’s you. I mean, you gotta, you know, little anarchist decisions of everybody, of whatever, you know, so right. But we’re coming. We’re coming back.

Rhodes: No, no one’s, no one’s coming to help you. It’s it’s on… It’s on us. No, one’s coming to help us. Especially no politician. That’s a proven fact.

Hancock: We’re coming back. Five seconds. Here we go.

[VOICEOVER] And now live from the studios of Freedom’s Phoenix, Ernest Hancock.

Hancock: Damn it, Ernie! Stewart Rhodes, you’re still recording. I thought you said we were on break! Well, alright. So it’s too late now you’re recorded. You know, what do you gotta say, man?

Rhodes. I don’t care.

Rhodes: Well, all, all I see right now is him scrambling to try to pardon his kids and pardon himself. And I think it’s just all about him. I hate to say it, but that’s just what I see. And you know, you got all these, uh, Trump, I mean, Hey, I voted for Trump, uh, I was a Trump supporter, but the man’s not delivered. He can still, and here’s, and of course, here come the excuses in, we were surrounded by bad people and the Democrats were stopping him, and blah blah blah blah. He has absolute authority. It’s in his hands to declassify. Just like he has absolute authority to declare an insurrection. He can do that too. And he should have done it over the summer when they were burning down cities and, and shooting cops in the streets and, and declaring communist revolution. That’s what he could have done like that. But here’s the thing. As soon as Biden gets in there, he is going to use it. He will not hesitate. Biden and Harris will use an Insurrection Act along with enemy combatant status, talked about a little while ago, and then we’re just gonna have free war, that’s what’s gonna happen.

Hancock: Now you looking, are you preparing for, are you anticipating, uh, civil unrest with guns?

Rhodes: I think there’s, there’s, it’s too late to avoid it at this point. Trump had the last chance, or still does, if he ever actually mans up, to avoid it right now, by doing that mass declassification. Cause it’s all about the court of public opinion. And in particular, the military opinion, if the rank and file military realizes that our entire system of government and all three branches top to bottom is full of traitors and pedophiles and, and you know, compromised freaks, then they will not be loyal to them and they’ll be loyal to the people and they’re more likely to stand down and not fire on us and when Biden and Harris order them to. That’s what’s so critical. So, you know, if you wanna set aside and not use the Insurrection Act, great, but at least do the mass declassification and data dump, do it right now. That’s what he has to do and not bureaucratic style. I mean go seize the data, go order the loyal humans still in the military, go seize the damn CIA databases and just dump ’em all, you know, Wikileaks style, Julian Assange style, or Snowden style… that’s what Trump can and should do. And no excuses.


Photo credit: Department of Justice