Oath Keepers Leader Stewart Rhodes Denied Bail Pending Trial For Seditious Conspiracy
Rhodes was charged with seditious conspiracy in connection to last January’s attack on the U.S. Capitol, which carries a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison.
“It is the totality of the evidence showing Defendant’s leadership and strategic involvement in and advocacy for armed and violent actions against the federal government, combined with Defendant’s preparedness and ready access to weapons sufficient to carry out such violent activities, that presents a significant risk of harm to others,” Magistrate Judge Kimberly C. Priest Johnson of the Eastern District of Texas wrote in her opinion.
Rhodes’ estranged wife testified that Rhodes had been abusive to their children and had established escape plans from the family home including tunnels, unregistered cars and razor wire.
Rhodes played a key role in the Capitol attack. While there is no evidence he entered the building, he was the vocal leader of the group, going so far as to threaten violence if Biden was to take office. He also coordinated with Oath Keeper members using the encrypted messaging app Signal on the day of the attack.
Johnson added, “Authoritative role in the conspiracy, access to substantial weaponry, and ability to finance any future insurrection, combined with his continued advocacy for violence against the federal government, gives rise to a credible threat that Defendant’s release might endanger others by fostering the planning and execution of additional violent events,” as reasons why she was not granted bail.
Rhodes will probably be transferred from a Texas prison to Washington D.C. His lawyers are expected to appeal the decision.