Oath Keepers Founder Stewart Rhodes Sentenced for Seditious Conspiracy Charge
Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes faced sentencing for seditious conspiracy charge after being convicted of spearheading a weekslong plot to keep former President Donald Trump in power, culminating in far-right extremists attacking the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. In this article, we will discuss the developments surrounding the sentencing of Stewart Rhodes for seditious conspiracy charges.
The article starts by establishing the background of the case. It explains that Rhodes founded the Oath Keepers, recruited past and present members of the military and police officers, and grew into one of the largest far-right anti-government militia groups. The group promotes the belief that the federal government is out to strip citizens of their civil liberties and paints its followers as defenders against tyranny.
The article states that Rhodes was found guilty in November of seditious conspiracy alongside Florida chapter leader Kelly Meggs, and four other Oath Keepers were convicted of the rarely used charge during a second trial in January. Three of Rhodes’ co-defendants were acquitted of seditious conspiracy but convicted of other crimes.
The article discusses that prosecutors are seeking 25 years behind bars for Rhodes, who will be sentenced in the federal court in Washington that sits less than a mile from the Capitol. It also explains that he will be the first Jan. 6 defendant convicted of seditious conspiracy to receive his punishment, which will set the standard for a slew of extremists group members’ sentencings to come.
The Sentencing Hearing
The article details the proceedings of the sentencing hearing.
During the hearing, prosecutors requested the application of enhanced penalties for “terrorism,” under the argument that the Oath Keepers sought to influence the government through “intimidation or coercion.” In a first for a Jan. 6 case, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta agreed with prosecutors to apply the “terrorism enhancement” — which can lead to a longer prison term — but Mehta said it fits in Rhodes’ case.
Rhodes’ lawyer, Phillip Linder, denied that Rhodes gave any orders for Oath Keepers to enter the Capitol on Jan. 6. He also told the judge that Rhodes could have had many more Oath Keepers come to the Capitol “if he really wanted to” disrupt Congress’ certification of the Electoral College vote. Rhodes’ attorneys plan to appeal his conviction.
Sentencing of Other Defendants
The article mentions that four other defendants convicted of seditious conspiracy will be sentenced next week.
The article concludes by summarizing the developments surrounding the sentencing of Stewart Rhodes for seditious conspiracy charges.
1. What is the Oath Keepers group?
2. What did Stewart Rhodes found?
3. What was Stewart Rhodes convicted of?
4. What sentence is Stewart Rhodes facing?
5. What is the “terrorism enhancement” in the sentencing of Stewart Rhodes?