An investigation into the extremist far-right group known as The Oath Keepers has revealed more than 500 members from Minnesota, several of whom are in law enforcement, and one of whom is an elected official.
The Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism has published the results into its probe of a leaked list of 38,000 members of the anti-government militia, providing a breakdown for each state.
None of those identified in the study have been named by the ADL, which acknowledges that a person's inclusion on the list "is not proof that they were or are still are an Oath Keeper," or that they share the Oath Keeper ideology, as it's possible that some "misunderstood the nature of the Oath Keepers."
According to the list, 514 Minnesotans are or were signed up to the Oath Keepers.
- Six are members of law enforcement
- Three are military
- Two are first responders
- One is an elected official.
The Oath Keepers group is accused of playing a key role in the attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
The Associated Press reports that having members that include active military, law enforcement, or politicians at a time when lies about the validity of the 2020 presidential elections continue to be spread.
According to the ADL, Oath Keepers seek to reach serving military personnel, law enforcement, or emergency workers as part of their wider effort to refuse or resist orders from the federal government that they claim to be unconstitutional, though the study notes that this is "typically not grounded in any legal basis and are warped by conspiratorial thinking."
Nationally, the ADL found that 370 people in the Oath Keepers' records are believed to work in law enforcement – including as police chiefs and sheriffs – while around 100 are serving in the military, while more than 80 were running for or serving in public office.
Texas had the most names featured on the list with just over 3,300, with California next with 3,077, then Florida and New York.