A few months ago, a “mental disease or defect” temporarily barred Oath Keeper attorney Kelly SoRelle from facing trial for charges related to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, but now her mental competency has been restored after an evaluation by the Bureau of Prisons, a federal judge has found.
U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta made the ruling from federal court in Washington, D.C., in a paperless order posted to the docket on Feb. 9. He also ordered that she be released from custody as she awaits her trial on charges that she conspired to obstruct an official proceeding, obstructed an official proceeding, entered and remained in a restricted building or grounds, and obstructed justice by tampering with documents.
She is under orders not to have any contact with Oath Keepers or other members of the far-right organization.
SoRelle, once an attorney to the Oath Keepers and girlfriend to convicted seditionist Stewart Rhodes, was indicted in September 2022.
At Rhodes’ trial, details emerged about the couple’s escapades across the country as prosecutors say he prepared for Jan. 6 and beyond. SoRelle, according to the Justice Department, was deeply loyal to Rhodes and, in addition to entering the Capitol on Jan. 6, she is accused of whipping rioters into a frenzy outside of it.
At Rhodes’ trial seditious conspiracy trial, prosecutors said she frequently acted as a sort of conduit for him, at times letting him use her phone to communicate with fellow Oath Keepers.
She is accused of urging other Oath Keepers to destroy records, too.
SoRelle was also present for the underground parking garage meeting on the eve of the Capitol attack where Rhodes and Proud Boys leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio met, purportedly for the first time.
Notably, SoRelle too was one of the attorneys who pursued litigation to overturn now-President Joe Biden’s electoral win, As Law&Crime reported when SoRelle entered her not guilty plea, it was she who invoked The Lord of the Rings when arguing that Biden had no right to govern the American people.
“Gondor has no King,” she wrote in a lawsuit alleging that Biden is not a legitimate president.
Around the time she was indicted, SoRelle was vocal on social media as Rhodes and his Oath Keepers co-defendants prepared to go to trial, taking swipes at the FBI, CIA, and DOJ with memes and screeds about the need to “clean out the swamp.”
Prosecutors intended to take her to trial alongside co-defendants Donovan Crowl and James Beeks, but those plans fell apart as prosecutors and an independent evaluator were called in to assess her mental competency. Beeks was acquitted in July of all charges; Crowl, like Beeks, was part of the first military-style “stack” of Oath Keepers to breach the Capitol. Crowl was convicted of conspiracy to obstruct the certification ceremony and will be sentenced on Feb. 27.
“[T]he Court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that Defendant is presently suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering her mentally incompetent, to the extent that she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against her or to assist properly in her defense,” Mehta wrote last summer.
At the time, Mehta ordered SoRelle to be committed to the custody of Bureau of Prisons for hospitalization. Status reports were to be sent every 60 days until she recovered.
According to court records reviewed Monday by Law&Crime, SoRelle reported to a Bureau of Prisons facility for competency restoration on Nov. 27, 2023. The docket shows a status conference before Mehta was held on Feb. 8 and the next day, a paperless order deeming she could stand trial was entered.
Her attorney, Horatio Aldridge, did not return a request for comment Monday.
It is not clear when SoRelle will go to trial; Mehta did not set a date as of Monday afternoon.
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