Yesterday (Sept. 7), Jonathan Greenblatt (chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League) released a statement calling the Oath Keepers a “virulently anti-government, violent extremist group.” The ADL was founded in 1913 and the organization specializes in civil rights law.
Documents shared by the ADL claimed that politicians, police officers, firefighters, EMTs and other public officials were members of the extremist group. The Oath Keepers have been linked to incidents of violence, including last year’s Capitol riots. According to the Chicago Tribune, the state of Illinois had the most members. “Illinois also saw 21 law enforcement officers, three elected officials and two members of the military sign up for the extremist group,” the outlet wrote.
In 2021, a whistleblower published an Oath Keepers membership list. The Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism cross-checked those names with public records and found over 80 were current politicians or planning to run in the November midterm elections.
Concerned citizens shared their thoughts on the matter on Twitter. “[Three-hundred and seventy] in law enforcement, 100 in the military, and 80 Republican politicians are members of the far-right terrorist group Oath Keepers. Americans deserve to know. EXPOSE THE LIST,” one post read. Another said, “The Oath Keepers data leak should be the starting place for an investigation of everyone on these lists. Every person shown to be an active member should be dismissed from their government/civic job. They should not be allowed to work in positions of power [and] authority.”
While some on the list have denied ties to the extremist group, others were said to proudly stand by their decision. Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers has publicly expressed her alliance with the Oath Keepers, according to reports. Rogers is one of the many elected officials running for re-election in November. This month, several members of the Oath Keepers will appear in court to face charges of seditious conspiracy for their involvement in the Capitol riots.