CALL TO ACTION: Oath Keepers Pledge to Protect Electors from Terrorist Death Threats

karriman on rooftop

Oath Keepers National BOD Member and Security Operations Leader, John Karriman on Watch in Ferguson 

OFFER OF PROTECTION TO ELECTORS:  Oath Keepers is hereby issuing a standing offer of volunteer protection to any of the Electoral College Electors who may feel threatened or in danger from leftist radicals attempting to coerce them into changing their vote as Electors.

Any Elector who wants our assistance may contact us at:  electors@oathkeepers.org

Please feel free to repost this notice online, or to pass on to Electors who may need our help.  However, Electors are encouraged to initiate contact with us through the above oathkeepers.org email address only and to be wary of anyone contacting them through other means, claiming to be from Oath Keepers.  If in doubt, email us to verify.

All communications and requests from electors will be kept in the strictest confidence, and only vetted, trusted, qualified Oath Keepers members will be dispatched to provide security.

That protection can be overt or covert, or a combination of those two postures, at the discretion of the Elector after consultation with our security team leaders, and will consist of our unpaid volunteer retired police officers and experienced combat veterans with personal security detail training and experience.   We can, and will, provide this protection from now through their vote on December 19. 2016, and even thereafter if they still feel threatened by terrorists seeking reprisal and punishment for the Electors not bending to their will.

CALL TO ACTION:  Due to the gravity of the threat to our Republic from terrorists attempting to steal the election through coercion, this is also a call to action to our state and local leaders, and in particular to our Community Preparedness Team (CPT) leaders, to prepare security details in each of the targeted states to be on standby for immediate deployment if a request for protection comes in from an Elector.

WHY WE ARE DOING THIS:   In the wake of President-Elect Donald Trump’s victory on Election Night, Republican Electors across the country have received an increasing wave of harassment and threats, in the form of phone calls, emails, messages on social media, and even in-person visits to their homes, by leftists who seek to pressure those Electors into changing their votes from Trump to Clinton when the Electoral College meets on December 19, 2016.  Such harassment and threats intensified after anti-Trump groups published online the names, addressed, phone numbers, emails, gender, and race of Republican Electors in states that went for Trump.

According to the Detroit News, one of the Republican Electors for Michigan, Michael Banerian, has received multiple death threats:

On Dec. 19, the 22-year-old Banerian is scheduled to join 15 other Michiganians to cast their electoral votes for Republican President-elect Donald Trump. But Trump’s opponents have deluged Banerian and other GOP electors with pleas and nasty emails to reverse course and cast their ballots for Clinton, according to the Michigan Republican Party.

“You have people saying ‘you’re a hateful bigot, I hope you die,’ ” he said. “I’ve had people talk about shoving a gun in my mouth and blowing my brains out. And I’ve received dozens and dozens of those emails. Even the non-threatening-my-life emails are very aggressive.”

The Detroit News verified one message containing a death wish and another containing a death threat, in which the person told Banerian he would “put a bullet” in his mouth. Banerian said he deleted the rest of the emails and messages “because as you can imagine they’re clogging up my email.”

“Even if I could, I wouldn’t be remotely interested in changing my vote,” said Banerian, a political science senior at Oakland University and youth vice chair of the Michigan Republican Party. “The people of Michigan spoke, and it’s our job to deliver that message.”

Below is a video interview with Mr. Banarian, discussing the threats:

As an association of both current serving and veteran police officers, military, fire-fighters and other first responders, we Oath Keepers are duty bound by our oaths to defend the Constitution by defending the electoral process that is at the core of our republican form of government.  Any attempt to intimidate and coerce an Elector, through threats of violence, is an act of terrorism, just as much as an attempt to coerce the voters on Election Day would have been terrorism.   We expect to see such horrid behavior from the likes of ISIS or in some third world dictatorship where people have guns held to their heads and are ordered to vote for “El Presidente” … “or else.”   But now we are seeing the same kind of political terrorism here, at home.   This is un-American and unacceptable.

Oath Keepers has, in the past, successfully protected both homes and businesses from the deadly threat of terrorist arsonists during the Ferguson riots (there were apartments above the shops we protected, with families living in them).  The arsonists swore they would burn the buildings to the ground, killing all inside.  We stopped them.

fergusonoath1

Bakery Owner, Natalie, with a MARSOC Marine veteran who stood guard over her during Ferguson riots

Oath Keepers also stood guard over disarmed active duty military recruiters across the nation against the threat of further terrorism, with our Operation Protect the Protectors, after the deadly Chattanooga, TN radical Jihadist terror attack.

OK-PTP-July-2015

Oath Keepers also recently carried out a successful undercover poll monitoring operation across the nation this election season, with our police and military veterans watching for suspected vote fraud or voter intimidation.

We regard any attempts to coerce the Electors as acts of terrorism that deserve an equally strong response.  As always, we fully support police in their jobs as they work to protect people against such terrorism, but we also realize that they can rarely provide 24/7 protection of targeted individuals.  That is just an unfortunate reality.  In addition, most Americans cannot afford to hire the necessary protection when under such threats.  And that is where we come in, providing that protection for free, as is our duty.

In his written statement, Mr.  Banarian declares:

I have received death threats and death wishes from many who have the audacity to think they can attempt to intimidate others just because they think they are right. Here’s a wake-up call to some on the left who have been manipulated into harboring deep-seated hatred of those who have a different opinion than them: it is this hubris that cost you this election. Check your hate at the door.

Electors in Arizona and Idaho have also received harassment and threats.  According to the Press Release of Lawrence Denney, Idaho’s Chief Election officer:

In recent days, Idaho’s four Republican Party electors have been receiving phone calls regarding their vote in the Electoral College from citizens within Idaho and outside of the state. Many of these phone calls are crossing into what could reasonably be considered harassment. The callers are trying to persuade the electors to become what is known as a “Faithless Elector”. Going against their pledge, “faithless electors” either abstain from or cast a ballot in opposition to their party’s designated nominee.

“While there is no Federal requirement binding electors to their pledge, and while Idaho is one of 21 states that does not have state‐level legislation to force an elector to comply, attempting to sway an elector’s commitment to their party through insults, vulgar language, or threats, simply lacks civility…” says Secretary Lawerence Denney, Idaho’s Chief Election officer.

And all of this comes after a veritable deluge of online threats to assassinate Trump, calls for the rape and murder of his family members, and also massive numbers of calls for violence and murder of Trump supporters and their families.   Arrests have begun to take place:

Zachary Benson, 24, now faces five years in prison after a series of post-election tweets in which he stated an intent “to assassinate Trump.”

“Diplomacy. Fucking Fools. I hate you all. I want to bomb every one of your voting booths and your general areas,” Benson Tweeted the Wednesday after the election under the handle @ZeeAyeKeyKay.

Benson also tweeted: “My life goal is to assassinate Trump. Don’t care if I serve infinite sentences. That man deserves to decease [sic] existing.”

Secret Service picked Benson up later that day for questioning.

We fear that this is only the beginning of a wave of “Weather Underground” style terrorism from the radical left, as they become increasingly unstable after losing power, and seek to subvert and overthrow our Constitutional Republic.    Nonetheless, our general posture at the moment (and certainly between now and the inauguration on January, 20, 2017) is to avoid direct street level confrontation with violent leftists (which is what they want, so they and their media comrades can twist it into “right wing extremists attack peaceful protesters”).  We prefer to give them plenty of rope, letting them further destroy their own credibility by their own increasingly insane actions.

As Napoleon said, “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”  And yes, we regard the communist flag waving radicals now in the streets calling for violent Marxist revolution to be obvious domestic enemies of the Constitution.   With every American flag they burn, they burn what little credibility they have left (especially in the eyes of our police and military).  So, we will stay out of it and let the police handle it (unless we get a direct request for assistance from a police department).  At most, we will protect homes and businesses under threat of violence and arson, and we will watch, wait, and prepare for the full Marxist terror storm we see on the horizon.

But when it comes to the sanctity of the vote, we must be proactive, right now, and do all we can to prevent the violent leftists from successfully terrorizing Electors and stealing the election through 11th hour illegitimate force and terrorism.  That is a line we cannot let them cross.  Not on our watch!

For the Republic,

Stewart Rhodes

Founder and President of Oath Keepers

NOTE:  Oath Keepers members should NOT attempt to contact the Electors to offer protection (unless you already know them personally through your own civic involvement), and are especially discouraged from trying to do so using the spreadsheet Trump opponents have compiled, as the Electors’ personal information may have been illegally obtained.  We do not want anyone to be able to accuse you of trying to influence Electors.  Just let them contact us if they want protection.

 

About Author

Stewart Rhodes

Stewart is the founder and National President of Oath Keepers. He served as a U.S. Army paratrooper until disabled in a rough terrain parachuting accident during a night jump. He is a former firearms instructor, former member of Rep. Ron Paul’s DC staff, and served as a volunteer firefighter in Montana. Stewart previously wrote the monthly Enemy at the Gates column for S.W.A.T. Magazine. Stewart graduated from Yale Law School in 2004, where his paper “Solving the Puzzle of Enemy Combatant Status” won Yale’s Miller prize for best paper on the Bill of Rights. He assisted teaching U.S. military history at Yale, was a Yale Research Scholar, and is writing a book on the dangers of applying the laws of war to the American people.