(CNN) -- In a raw and emotional testimony on Wednesday, Jessica Watkins, a member of the Oath Keepers on trial for seditious conspiracy, recounted being dragged into the conspiratorial underbelly of the internet and how she believed she was acting like an American patriot on January 6, 2021.Watkins made a surprise appearance on the stand to testify in her own defense and impress upon the jury that she was unaware of any plan to storm the US Capitol that day."It's the question I've been asking myself ever since," Watkins said of why she went into the Capitol that afternoon. "It was really stupid, I just got swept up there.""We were mad," she added. "We wanted them to hear us."Watkins has pleaded not guilty to several charges stemming from the attack at the Capitol, including seditious conspiracy.
Her four co-defendants have also pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors alleged that Watkins was part of the so-called "stack" formation that entered the Capitol, and that she was part of a crowd that pushed against a police line outside the Senate chamber.The militia leader testified that she never wanted to stop the congressional certification of the 2020 election on January 6 and never intended to stop the transfer of power from then-President Donald Trump to President-elect Joe Biden.Struggling to belongWatkins introduced herself to the jury by describing a painful upbringing.
Watkins, who is transgender, said she knew she identified as female from a young age but struggled with how, or if, she could express her identity publicly."My mom was pregnant with my sister when I was four and I remember wanting" to be a woman, Watkins testified.
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