Jessica Watkins, 'Oath Keepers' Leader, Was Waiting For Directions From Trump Ahead of Inauguration

New court documents show a leader of a pro-Trump paramilitary group told prosecutors she was heeding the call of President Donald Trump to "stop the steal" of the 2020 presidential election by storming the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6.

In a legal filing released Thursday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) describes the "premeditated" actions of Jessica Watkins, a leader of the Oath Keepers, a paramilitary group that considers the federal government has been "co-opted by shadowy conspiracy."

According to prosecutors, Watkins believed she was following Trump's call to siege the Capitol and stop Congress' certification of the 2020 election results.

"As the inauguration grew nearer, Watkins indicated that she was awaiting direction from President Trump," prosecutors wrote in the court filing.

Watkins allegedly used militant language to prepare the group to combat the "existential threat" of President Joe Biden's inauguration -- should Trump send them the call, the document said. The filings say she reportedly wrote to a recruit: "We already have our neck in the noose. They just haven't kicked in the chair yet."

Oath Keepers
New court documents who that Jessica Watkins, a leader of the Oath Keepers group, believed she was responding to former President Donald Trump's call to "stop the steal" of the 2020 presidential election. A pickup of an Oath Keeper from Idaho in Bozeman, Montana. The "Oath Keepers" are a national, ultra-rightwing "Patriot" group comprised of former and active military, police and public safety personnel who have taken an oath to "uphold the Constitution" and to refuse to follow orders that they decide are unconstitutional. William Campbell/Corbis via Getty Images

According to the legal filing, Watkins reportedly described herself as a "soldier" to one recruit and she demonstrated a "devotion to obstruct through violence." The filings report she told one recruit that "basic training is mandatory...I need you fighting fit" by Inauguration Day.

But unlike most of the capitol rioters, Watkins' actions were not spur of the moment, prosecutors wrote. Authorities wrote that Watkins had "trained and plotted" to obstruct the procedure of a so-called unlawful government if Trump "activated" them - a word she used in a text sent in November.

"Her concern about taking action without his backing was evident in a November 9, 2020, text in which she stated, 'I am concerned this is an elaborate trap. Unless the POTUS himself activates us, it's not legit. The POTUS has the right to activate units too. If Trump asks me to come, I will. Otherwise, I can't trust it,'" the document reads.

Over an encrypted radio channels, Watkins reportedly told co-conspirators she had a "good group" of 30 to 40 people by the day of the riot. On Jan. 6, Watkins and her co-conspirators joined the mob attacking the capitol, reportedly prepared to take further action if Trump asked.

The prosecutors wrote that in a YouTube video of the attack, a group of people wearing helmets, reinforced vests and Oath Keeper insignias are seen "moving in an organized and practiced fashion" to the front of the crowd at the doors of the Capitol, pushing past law enforcement officers into the building. Watkins was reportedly captured in a Parler video exclaiming "We're in the [expletive] Capitol!"

Watkins reportedly revised a decision whether or not to bring weapons to the Capitol. The filings say she allegedly told someone "we are not bringing weapons" and then reversed course, communicating with another Oath Keeper that "weapons are okay now."

Prosecutors argued that Watkins be kept detention before her trial."Crimes of this magnitude, committed with such zeal, belie any conditions of release that would reasonably assure the safety of the community or by which Watkins could be trusted to abide."

Watkins was arrested with a co-conspirator on Jan. 18 in Ohio. She has been charged with conspiracy, among other counts.