Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes sentenced to 18 years for Jan. 6 

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A federal judge on Thursday sentenced Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes to 18 years in prison following his conviction on seditious conspiracy charges for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.

The sentencing represents the longest prison term yet assigned to a figure involved in the riot, coming after Rhodes was found guilty on numerous other charges last November, including other felony charges such as obstruction of an official proceeding.

Judge Amit Mehta laid down the sentence with harsh words for Rhodes over a several minute speech, castigating the leader for referring to himself as a political prisoner earlier in the hearing.

“You are not a political prisoner, Mr. Rhodes,” Mehta said, adding that he presents “an ongoing threat and a peril to this country.”

He added that what we “cannot have is a group of citizens…prepared to take up arms in order to foment a revolution. That’s what you did.”

“We now all hold our collective breaths every time an election is approaching. Will we have another Jan. 6? That remains to be seen.”

The sentence comes ahead of those of numerous other Oath Keepers members slated to likewise receive their punishment over the next two weeks for their role in the attack. Several in the group were found guilty of seditious conspiracy, as were members of another far-right group, the Proud Boys, who faced the charge in another trial.

It’s also significant in that Rhodes never entered the Capitol that day, instead remaining on the grounds, directing his team via a walkie talkie app as they entered the building via “stack” formation.

Mehta largely sided with the Justice Department, which suggested a 25-year prison sentence for Rhodes, arguing the former Army soldier encouraged other fellow veterans to violate the oaths to defend the Constitution they took when beginning their service.

Seditious conspiracy carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence, but the Justice Department also sought a terrorism enhancement for Rhodes as well as other Oath Keepers defendants.

“He exploited his vast public influence as the leader of the Oath Keepers and used his talents for manipulation to goad more than twenty other American citizens into using force, intimidation, and violence to seek to impose their preferred result on a U.S. presidential election,” the Justice Department wrote in a sentencing memo earlier this month.

Content retrieved from: https://www.wavy.com/news/national/oath-keepers-founder-stewart-rhodes-sentenced-to-18-years-for-jan-6/.

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