The Oath Keepers, a paramilitary group involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, likely stored weapons at the the Comfort Inn in Arlington, Virginia, in an effort to assemble a a “quick reaction force,” or QRF, according to federal prosecutors. Prosecutors released a photo of an alleged Oath Keepers member carrying a weapon inside the hotel.
Kenneth Harrelson, who is one of 12 defendants in an Oath Keepers conspiracy case, “likely contributed” weapons and brought “what appears to be at least one rifle case” to the hotel, prosecutors say.
According to court filings, Harrelson sent a message to a group chat on January 5 asking for the location of the “QRF hotel,” to which co-conspirator Kelly Meggs replied saying that they should take over private messages.
These details emerge amid confusion as to whether or not the “QFR hotel” was merely a figment of the Keepers’ ideological imagination or a real-world location for stockpiling weapons for the Capitol riots. One defense attorney has argued that the “QFR” was a protective measure – ensuring the Oath Keepers’ safety in case of an attack from Antifa.
Jonathan Cordero, a Comfort Inn manager, told CNN that hotel staff is not permitted to check people’s bags. “All we have is guests coming in and checking out,” he said. “We don’t even know if they are members of the Oath Keepers or anything like that. We cannot check their personal belonging or things like that, and we don’t know what they’re bringing in. People check in and people check out.”