Release: Oath Keepers (5 GB)

Email inboxes and chat logs for key organizers of the militia that recruits from U.S. military and law enforcement

The Oath Keepers are a far-right militia founded by Stewart Rhodes in 2009. Several members of the paramilitary network have been charged for their role in the January 6, 2021 US Capitol insurrection in Washington D.C..

Distributed Denial of Secrets received a cache of Oath Keeper data from a source. On Sept. 27, we published 5 gigabytes of redacted data from the secretive militia including emails and chat messages from their Rocket.chat, a Slack alternative.

The emails include mailboxes for each chapter as well as several individuals in leadership roles, and date between January 13th and September 19, 2021. The chat logs date between June 22nd and June 26th, 2020 and February 5th and September 19th, 2021. Many alleged current or former members are identified in the files, as well as numerous donors. (edited to add hyperlink to new search engine for the chat log portion of this dataset)

Media and other public interest researchers may also contact us to request access to the sensitive materials we redacted. Torrent and magnet links to the public release are available in our web article. Cross-referencing with earlier DDoSecrets releases like GiveSendGo may prove fruitful.

Early media stories based on the Oath Keeper data include:

  • At least one person who joined them accused the militia of being a bit of a grift, and “a lot to pay for just private chat membership.” (Raw Story)

  • After January 6, both new recruits and disenchanted members who wished to quit struggled to reach anyone in charge, or get timely responses to their messages (The Daily Beast)

  • One Oath Keeper, who is running for New Jersey state assembly, blamed the bureaucratic delays within the group on "the lefty attacks." (Raw Story)

  • The Daily Dot reviewed the alleged member list containing more than 38,000 email addresses, and found 160 email addresses for people connected to the U.S. government, including 132 people who used military email addresses to register, and 38 email addresses from other government agencies including Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and NASA. (The Daily Dot)

  • The Guardian emailed many of these names and discovered that their emails bounced or otherwise did not correspond to a person. There was an increase of income from membership dues, after the Capitol insurrection. (The Guardian)

  • USA Today: “found 200 people who identified themselves as active or retired law enforcement officers when signing up”, and confirmed 20 of them are still serving everywhere from Alabama to California. (USA TODAY)

The release has garnered some early responses from political and military leaders. WNYC and Gothamist discovered several active New York City police officers who appear in the membership lists, although at least one said that he paid dues for one year and never renewed his membership (Gothamist). After the WNYC/Gothamist research, CNN and others followed up, and New York’s mayor Bill De Blasio promised an investigation (starting at minute 29):

Mayor De Blasio expanded on his comments on the Brian Lehrer show on WNYC, saying “those are the biggest threats right now, the right-wing militias,” and that “anyone who is claiming allegiance to the Oath Keepers is inherently denying their own oath as a police officer and they can’t serve as a police officer under that status, they just can’t.” (New York Times)

A spokesperson for the Navy said they would also launch an investigation into a Navy yeoman stationed in Fargo, North Dakota who allegedly inquired about joining the militia. Navy records confirm a Ray Triboulet in North Dakota. (BuzzFeed)

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