Jan 6 Panel Brings Down Oath Keepers

Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the far-right Oath Keepers group, was convicted on Tuesday for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot. Rhodes was found guilty of seditious conspiracy. This marks a win for the Justice Department which has used this uncommon charge for members of extremist groups who conspired in the scheme that led to the Capitol attack.

Florida chapter leader Kelly Meggs, was also charged with seditious conspiracy. The other three defendants on trial were found guilty on a number of other charges but not for seditious conspiracy. All five defendants on trial were charged with obstruction of an official proceeding.

The trial is one of the most important verdicts in the Justice Department’s investigation which has so far led to 700 individuals being charged. Many of the high-profile cases in the investigation have not yet been charged.

Seditious conspiracy charges carry up to 20 years in prison. This is the first time since a 1990s terrorism case that the charge was successfully used.

This verdict is also particularly important as Rhodes, a Yale-educated lawyer, never entered the Capitol building, but instead was in active communication with other Oath keepers who found a way to force their way into the Capitol.

Kenneth Harrelson, Jessica Watkins, and Thomas Caldwell were not found guilty on seditious conspiracy charges, but they were each charged with multiple felonies that carry up to 20 years in prison.

Written by CFP Staff Writer

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