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An attorney who once used the “Lord of the Rings” as a litigation blueprint for a dubious and failed attempt to sideline Joe Biden via the federal courts reportedly now says she’s the leader of the “Oath Keepers.” Kellye SoRelle told CBS News on Friday that she is running the far-right group in the absence of Stewart Rhodes, its recently arrested leader. Rhodes was charged Thursday with seditious conspiracy in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021 siege on the U.S. Capitol Complex.
According to a report by Dallas CBS affiliate KTVT, SoRelle said she was now in charge of what the television station referred to as the “loose-knit group.”
“I am currently acting as President of Oath Keepers in lieu of Mr. Rhodes until he is released,” SoRelle said in an aspirational and forward-looking statement, according to the report. “He is not guilty of any of the outlandish charges and the organization stands with Mr. Rhodes. I would like for the political parties and politicians to stop dividing the people and using us to promote agendas for their own personal financial gain.”
SoRelle issued a similar statement to Rolling Stone.
SoRelle has served as general counsel to the militant Oath Keepers group, according to statements by Rhodes himself. SoRelle is also said to have recorded a video claimed by right-wing conspiracy theorists to portray a Pelican protective case full of fraudulent 2020 election ballots being wheeled about Detroit.
“SoRelle is raising alarms that the box may have been a ballot box that arrived long after all ballots were expected to have been received at the counting facility,” the website Texas Scorecard wrote on Nov. 4, 2020. (The website’s managing editor says he is a former political operative who now works “to shine a spotlight on conservative victories.”)
The fretted case was actually full of television gear from local ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV, and the man wheeling it into the facility was one of the television station’s photographers who was setting up for an election broadcast.
SoRelle also serves as a director alongside Rhodes for a company called The Green Dragon Institute, according to corporate records cited by Rolling Stone. Her Granbury, Texas-based law firm’s website explicitly asks potential clients to contact her if they are “having issues with the events from 1/6/2021” or if they are “being required to take the vaccine.”
SoRelle’s recent Twitter history indicates she is skeptical of Covid-19 vaccines. It also indicates that she believes the United States House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack should be disregarded because, in her view, it was formed by an improperly constituted federal government.
In response to a tweet about an amicus brief filed in support of Donald Trump and against the Committee’s investigative processes, SoRelle tweeted that the pro-Trump attorneys “[s]hould have said that neither the house nor the executive branch were lawfully elected and that the 2020 election was void ab initio.”
“The House (which should be vacant) has no lawful or legal authority to be doing anything they are doing,” she added.
Should have said that neither the house nor the executive branch were lawfully elected and that the 2020 election was void ab initio. The House (which should be vacant) has no lawful or legal authority to be doing anything they are doing. https://t.co/yHiOCif5zp
— Kellye SoRelle, Attorney (@kellyesorelle) January 12, 2022
That opinion is not too far askew from a lawsuit SoRelle filed with lead attorney Paul M. Davis shortly after the Jan. 6 attack. The lawsuit employed a series of awkward references to — and ideas from — the temporary government of the fictitious Kingdom of Gondor in the J. R. R. Tolkien novel “The Lord of the Rings.”
The Davis/SoRelle lawsuit, filed on behalf of the groups Latinos for Trump, Blacks for Trump, and several other named and unnamed plaintiffs, attempted to assert that Joe Biden was not a legitimate president and that a rightful heir to the executive branch would — like the character Aragorn II Elessar — someday return. Until then, the case brazenly argued that a federal judge should appoint a group of “stewards” from the cabinet of former President Trump to run most of the United States government from the White House. That would only occur, the lawsuit lawlessly speculated, after the Secret Service escorted Biden and his wife out of the executive residence at the order of whichever judge heard the case.
The lawsuit further asserted that “every member” of Congress was “not legitimately elected.”
“Gondor has no King,” an amended motion (which also bore SoRelle’s name) later claimed.
Several of the plaintiffs eventually split from Davis and sought representation from SoRelle alone. A U.S. District Court judge in September 2021 scuttled the case because it failed to state a cognizable legal claim.
At a rally in March 2021, Rhodes introduced SoRelle as a “patriot lawyer from Texas” and a former prosecutor who was with a group called “Lawyers for Trump” in Michigan. Rhodes claimed SoRelle “witnessed the theft of the election firsthand.”
SoRelle claimed that as a local prosecutor she was frequently told by her federal counterparts that she could not prosecute certain individuals because they were “assets,” were otherwise in “good graces with the federal government,” or “had ties with our elected officials” — or at least with people in administrative agencies. She called the process “deconfliction.”
She also referenced unnamed so-called “white hats” — which she suggested might be “military intelligence” or other “agency” employees who were “retired” but “still working” for government — who she claimed were “being rounded up now” and “getting charged with — I don’t even know yet.” She claimed said people were “getting picked up right now.” It was unclear precisely who she meant, where they were arrested, what work they were supposedly doing, or what charges they allegedly faced.
She then vaguely referenced the Oath Keepers before verbalizing another tome that appeared to reference Jan. 6.
“It’s just really messed up that our government will prosecute people who were exercising their First Amendment and were not there to harm anyone — and that evidence is clear there was no property damage, there was no violence — they were actually there assisting law enforcement, which they won’t admit,” she claimed. “Their text messages and communications are all being taken out of context, and they’re being held as political prisoners without bond, and it’s just ridiculous. It’s insane. These guys served our country.”
If she was referencing Jan. 6, SoRelle did not mention that property (both private and government) was damaged, that people were hurt, and that the First Amendment has long-recognized time, place, and manner limits.
“I’ve just kind of gotten all into the Patriot movement this year,” SoRelle said with reference to her work for Latinos for Trump and Blacks for Trump while concluding her remarks at the rally.
According to a candidate survey on election website Ballotpedia, SoRelle was once a candidate in Texas House District 60. The website says SoRelle described herself as pro-Second Amendment.
“Kellye SoRelle supports the life of the unborn through natural death,” the survey reads.
SoRelle did not win the election.
SoRelle also did not respond to a Law&Crime email seeking comment about her ascension within the Oath Keepers or about her goals for the organization or its members.
[Image of Kellye SoRelle via NTD/YouTube screengrab. Image of Aragorn via Lord of the Rings/New Line Cinema screengrab.]
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