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Capitol Riot suspect felt 'duped' into joining Oath Keepers, participating in insurrection

Graydon Young told a judge he was unaware of the Oath Keepers "nefarious purpose."

WASHINGTON — A Florida man charged with conspiracy for allegedly helping to coordinate a military-style attack on the U.S. Capitol as a member of the "Oath Keepers" told a federal judge he was “duped” into joining the extremist militia. Graydon Young told the judge his role in the Capitol rioting was limited.

“More specifically, the defendant argued that he was unaware of the organization's nefarious purpose when he joined the Oath Keepers and was duped into participating in the attack on the Capitol,” United States Magistrate Judge Thomas Wilson wrote in a motion rejecting Young’s claims. 

Judge Wilson denied bail for Young and ordered him held in custody before his trial.

According to newly filed court documents, on Jan. 4 Young forwarded his sister an email from the Oath Keepers founder which stated, “patriots you must prepare yourself for whatever may come” and “prepare your mind, body and spirit for battle.” The court documents say Young also encouraged his sister to join the Oath Keepers.

The court documents state that Young and fellow Oath Keepers arrived at the Capitol wearing paramilitary battle gear including tactical helmets and goggles. According to prosecutors, after the attack Young posted on his Facebook page “We stormed and got inside." 

“In sum, these circumstances refute the defendant’s argument that he was unaware of the Oath Keepers nefarious intent and that he was essentially 'duped’ into following the organization's plans," court docs said. "Rather this evidence indicates that the defendant’s conduct was intentional and purposeful.”

Young is among nine members of the “Oath Keepers” indicted for conspiracy for alleged pre-planning of the attack on the Capitol. Seven of the group, including Young, were allegedly part of a tactical "stack" of people dressed in combat gear who pushed through crowds to enter the Capitol. 

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