Oath Keepers Boss Guilty Of Seditious Conspiracy In 1/6 Case
Stewart Rhodes, the founder of Oath Keepers, was found guilty on Tuesday of seditious conspiracy for his role in a violent plot to overturn Democrat Joe Biden‘s victory in the presidential election, giving the Justice Department a significant victory in its extensive investigation and prosecution of the Jan. 6, 2021, uprising.
After three days of deliberations in the almost two-month-long trial that highlighted the far-right extremist group’s efforts to keep Republican Donald Trump in the White House at all means, a Washington, D.C., jury found Rhodes guilty of sedition.
The infrequently used charge from the Civil War carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Rhodes was charged with orchestrating a plan to launch an armed uprising to obstruct the transition of presidential power that began soon after the 2020 election but refrained from entering the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
Jurors learned about Rhodes’ efforts to mobilize his supporters to battle to keep Trump in office, his warnings of a potential “bloody” civil war, and his sorrow that the Oath Keepers didn’t bring firearms to the Capitol on January 6 through recordings and encrypted correspondence.
In a remarkable move, Rhodes and two additional defendants entered the witness stand and allowed the prosecution to interrogate them extensively. Rhodes argued that his supporters who entered the structure went rogue and assured the jury there was no strategy to attack the Capitol.
Kelly Meggs, the Oath Keepers chapter leader in Florida, Kenneth Harrelson, another Florida Oath Keeper, Thomas Caldwell, a retired Navy intelligence officer from Virginia, Jessica Watkins, the leader of an Ohio militia group, and other defendants were on trial with Rhodes.