Oath Keeper Founder Stewart Rhodes Convicted of Seditious Conspiracy In Jan. 6 Trial
The federal jury in Washington, D.C., found Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes guilty of seditious conspiracy on Tuesday for his role in the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol as President Joe Biden‘s victory was being certified by a joint session of Congress.
Fellow Oath Keeper’s member and co-defendant Kelly Meggs was also convicted of seditious conspiracy, which can carry up to a 20-year prison sentence. Meggs was the leader of the far-right group’s Florida branch.
Rhodes and Meggs were found guilty in large part due to evidence that they wished violence upon House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California). In the seven weeks of testimony, prosecutors laid out how they believed Rhodes began after the 2020 election to plan how the group could enact an armed rebellion to keep former President Donald Trump in office.
The three other group members Jessica Watkins, Thomas Caldwell and Kenneth Harrelson were not convicted on the seditious conspiracy charge, but joined Rhodes and Meggs in being found guilty of obstructing an official proceeding.
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Following the verdict, Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement that the Justice Department remains “committed to holding accountable those criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy on January 6, 2021.”
Rhodes’ legal team said they plan to begin the appeal process soon.
The convictions mark a milestone victory for the Justice Department in the January 6 proceedings and are likely just the beginning as other trials for January 6 defendants, including Proud Boys members, are slated to occur soon. Charges of seditious conspiracy are rare and were mainly used during the Civil War period.
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