Capitol Assault: Oath Keepers Founder Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison
The founder of the Oath Keepers militia took a defiant stance until the end:
I am a political prisoner, my only crime is to oppose those who destroy our countryhe launched just before being fixated on his judgment.
Federal judge Amit Mehta briefly put him in his place:
You are not a political prisoner, Mr. Rhodes, he said. You’re here because 12 jurors […] found you guilty of sedition, one of the most serious crimes an American can commit.
This leader, involving having planned the use of force against the government, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. But prosecutors had requested 25 years against Stewart Rhodes based on a provision that allows the sentence to be increased for acts of nature
Without following them completely, Justice Mehta endorsed their analysis on this point.
Acts of intimidation or coercion intended to influence the government falls under this category, he said.
He also justified the severity of the sentence with the leadership role of Stewart Rhodes, a 58-year-old ex-serviceman, and his lack of remorse.
” You represent a continuing threat and danger to the country. »
On January 6, 2021, thousands of supporters of Donald Trump had sowed chaos and violence in the seat of Congress, as elected officials confirmed his rival Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election.
The extensive investigation that followed resulted in the arrest of more than 1,000 people. Almost 300 received prison sentences, of which the harshest so far was 14 years.
But only 10 far-right splinter activists – six members of the Oath Keepers and four Proud Boys – have been found guilty of
rebellion after three separate trials in Washington.
After weeks of hearings, jurors found that these activists had prepared, gathered weapons and initiated military training in the Capitol to block the formalization of Donald Trump’s defeat.
On D-Day, Stewart Rhodes, known for his black eyepatch and fiery arguments, remained outside the Capitol, but prosecutors say he led his troops by radio
like a general on the battlefield.
During his trial, the tribune had declined
have planned attacked and argued that the
assignment of the Oath Keepers was to provide security for the demonstration, which Donald Trump called to condemn alleged
He maintained that he had been presented with a fait accompli, he had assessed
Stupid that Kelly Meggs, who heads the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers, walked into the Capitol.
It opened the door to our political persecutionhe said.
Kelly Meggs, also convicted of rioting, was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
A former soldier and Yale University law graduate, Stewart Rhodes founded Oath Keepers in 2009 by recruiting ex-soldiers or police officers, initially to fight against the federal government that was convicted.
Like other radical groups, this militia was seduced by Donald Trump’s anti-elite discourse and fully subscribed to the accusations of electoral fraud made – against all evidence – by the Republican.
In court documents, Stewart Rhodes’ lawyers tried to portray them as
philanthropists called upon to intervene to prevent riots, after natural disasters or during demonstrations against police violence.
For Rhodes, it was not meant to oblige the Oathkeepers in crisis situations to help, but to contribute to and benefit from the chaosreplied the prosecutors.
Justice Mehta also held that the presence of the Chief of the Oath Keepers was generally not good news because of his
appetite for violence.
You are intelligent, charismatic and eloquent. That’s what makes you dangeroushe told her.