OHIO — A Woodstock, Ohio Oath Keeper claims she breached the Capitol on Jan. 6 as a medic, not an insurrectionist, according to a court filing Saturday.
Watkins’ attorney filed a motion arguing for release as she awaits the felony conspiracy case against her to proceed.
The subject of several impeachment arguments, the transgender Afghanistan veteran is among the more prominent Capitol rioters facing charges.
Jessica Watkins (left) with Donovan Crowl (right) during the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. Video screenshot / U.S. Department of Justice
Watkins and numerous other ex-military and law enforcement militia members who wore tactical gear in D.C. and moved in formations have been charged with felonies including conspiracy by the federal government.
A federal public defender representing Watkins said her client’s rhetoric was indefensible, and acknowledged she made mistakes on Jan. 6. She said Watkins was brainwashed by the president and conservative media.
“While some of the rhetoric she allegedly engaged in is troubling; she fell prey to the false and inflammatory claims of the former president, his supporters, and the right wing media. She believed the right wing media’s assertions that the violence was perpetrated by ‘antifa’ and others,” Watkins’ lawyer said.
A former EMT, her attorney said she traveled to D.C. as a medic and to provide security at the Trump rally for “VIPs.”
“She was given a VIP pass to the rally. She met with Secret Service agents,” the motion said.
Her lawyer said she is at risk of “harsh treatment” in custody as a transgender female. She said Watkins was harassed in the military, and the motion said she was stripped naked in jail in Ohio for multiple days when she was put on an allegedly punitive suicide watch.
The motion for release proposes Watkins reside and work at her bar in Woodstock and refrain from excessive alcohol consumption.
“She is a former member of the military, voted for President Obama, and believes in the sanctity of the government and the importance of law and order,” her attorney said.
Watkins was charged with a group of eight other Oath Keeper militia members and alleged associates.
Watkins shared her experience in D.C. on Parler, a conservative-leaning social media app that has been taken down.
“So these were the f—weed cops killing Patriots, and assaulting us when we WERE peaceful,” Watkins said in Parler comments after the riot, before the app went offline. “Our election was stolen, an offense that cannot and should not go unchallenged. Extreme times call for extreme measures.”
In a video, Watkins, in the Rotunda, joyfully celebrated storming the Capitol with Crowl.
Screenshot of surveillance video / U.S. Department of Justice
Watkins’ motion for release included letters of support from her boyfriend, Montana Siniff, and friends including two members of the Nott family, neighbors who posted and quickly deleted video of the FBI raid at Watkins’ bar. She was not home at the time. According to the motion, she drove back to Ohio to turn herself when she learned she was wanted.
Watkins has a detention hearing Tuesday afternoon in D.C. District Court.