The head of the Oath Keepers is sentenced to 18 years in prison for the assault on the Capitol, the longest sentence so far

The founder of Oath Keepers -one of the far-right militias involved in the riots during the assault on the Capitol-, Stewart Rhodes, has been sentenced this Thursday to 18 years in prison for a crime of seditious conspiracy, in which he is until now the longest sentence imposed for these events on January 6, 2021.

“You represent a constant threat and a danger to this country and democracy,” Judge Amit Mehta said before reading the sentence, waiting for another of his cronies, Kelly Meggs, to also know in the next few hours the time that he must also remain in a federal prison.

“What of course cannot be is a group of citizens who, because they did not like the result of an election, did not believe that the law was complied with as it should be, promote the revolution,” said the judge, who has assured that Since then, the United States “holds its breath” when an election approaches.

Mehta has pointed out that those actions amounted to acts of terrorism and that the charge of seditious conspiracy — with few precedents since it was stipulated a century and a half ago — “is one of the most serious crimes that an American can commit.”

The Rhodes case was the first major accusation that fell on a member of these militias present in the riots of January 6, until several of the Proud Boys, including their boss Enrique Tarrio, were also recently found guilty of seditious conspiracy, while await sentence.

For weeks, the prosecution showed social media messages, emails, videos and call logs to show coordination between the defendants before, during and after the attack. The evidence shows that some of them traveled together to Washington and hid weapons in Virginia.

“They will not fear us until we arrive with rifles in hand,” Rhodes wrote in one of these messages on the eve of January 6. Later, in one of the recordings that were presented as evidence, he could be heard lamenting that he had not been more and better armed that day.

Rhodes was prolific in such comments during those days. In another of the messages shown by the prosecutors, who requested 25 years in prison, this former Army paratrooper stated that on the 6th they should, “with or without Trump”, prevent them from driving “the last nail in the coffin of this republic”. .

During his defense shift, Rhodes — who did not enter the Capitol — tried to disassociate himself from the men under his command, whom he called “stupid” for breaking into the headquarters of American democracy in that way. “I had no idea that any Oath Keeper was thinking of going in or that he would go in.”

Now, before knowing his sentence, he has insisted on conspiracy theories and after qualifying as a “political prisoner”, he has assured that he will continue in prison “exposing the criminality of the US regime”.

“Like President Trump, my only crime is to oppose those who are destroying our country,” he said during a 20-minute intervention in which he persisted with the narrative that the elections that brought Joe Biden to the House Blanca were peppered with fraud.

“I think this country is incredibly divided, and this indictment, not just mine, makes it worse. I think they are political prisoners and we are all being overcharged. It will make people feel like this government is even more illegitimate than before.” , has exposed in reference to his colleagues who are awaiting sentence.

This Friday the sentences of two other of his henchmen will also be known Jessica Watkins, 40, an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan before joining the group in Ohio; Kenneth Harrelson, 41, Meggs’ right-hand man; who were accused of obstructing an official procedure and complicity.

Seditious conspiracy is the most significant charge brought against the approximately 850 people who have been arrested for their participation in those riots. The main accusation that the prosecutors have presented is that of illegally entering a restricted place, while the rest of the most recurrent are for assault or resistance to authority.

By Editor

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