Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes guilty of seditious conspiracy

WASHINGTON — Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes was convicted on Tuesday of seditious conspiracy in a violent conspiracy to undo Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential victory, handing the Justice Department a major victory in its massive prosecution of the uprising of January 6, 2021.

A Washington, D.C. jury found Rhodes guilty of sedition after three days of deliberations in the nearly two-month trial that showcased the far-right group’s efforts to keep Republican Donald Trump in power at all costs. White House.

The rarely used Civil War-era charge calls for up to 20 years behind bars.

Rhodes did not enter the US Capitol on January 6, but was accused of leading a plot that began shortly after the 2020 election to lead an armed rebellion to stop the transfer of presidential power.

Through encrypted recordings and messages, jurors heard how Rhodes rallied his supporters to fight to keep Trump in power, warned of a possible ‘bloody’ civil war and regretted that the Oath Keepers had failed to bring guns at the Capitol on January 6.

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes was found guilty on Tuesday of seditious conspiracy.
AP/Dana Verkouteren

In an extraordinary move, Rhodes and two other defendants spoke up in their defense, exposing themselves to intense questioning by prosecutors. Rhodes told jurors there were no plans to attack the Capitol and insisted his supporters who entered the building had gone rogue.

Alongside Rhodes, of Granbury, Texas, were Kelly Meggs, head of the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers; Kenneth Harrelson, another Florida Oath Keeper; Thomas Caldwell, a retired Navy intelligence officer from Virginia; and Jessica Watkins, who led a militia group in Ohio.


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