Oath Keeper claims she met with Secret Service before Capitol riot

Watkins, an Afghanistan war veteran, has pleaded not guilty to the conspiracy charges. According to the indictment, Watkins arrived at the Capitol with communication devices, reinforced vests, camouflage helmets and goggles. She forcibly entered the Capitol “with a line of individuals wearing Oath Keeper clothing, patches, and insignia,” prosecutors said.

But her attorney said: “Ms. Watkins was present not as an insurrectionist, but to provide security to the speakers at the rally, to provide escort for the legislators and others to march to the Capitol as directed by the then president, and to safely escort protesters away from the Capitol to their vehicles and cars at the conclusion of the protest. She was given a VIP pass to the rally. She met with Secret Service agents.”

A Secret Service representative said it worked with government partners for security on Jan. 6, but added “any assertion that the Secret Service employed private citizens to perform those functions is false.”