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Stewart Rhodes, the founder and leader of the Oath Keepers, was found guilty (11.29.22) by a jury of seditious conspiracy and other charges related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. That breach disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election. The jury convicted Rhodes of masterminding a plot to violently block the transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden, finding that Rhodes entered into a seditious conspiracy against the U.S. government. Rhodes was also found guilty of obstruction of an official proceeding and tampering with documents and proceedings. Each count along with seditious conspiracy carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison
Attorney General Merrick Garland:
“Today the jury returned a verdict convicting all defendants of criminal conduct, including two Oath Keepers leaders for seditious conspiracy against the United States. The Justice Department is committed to holding accountable those criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy on January 6, 2021. The prosecutors and agents on this case worked tirelessly, with extraordinary skill, and in the best traditions of the Department of Justice.”
FBI Director Christopher Wray:
“As this case shows, breaking the law in an attempt to undermine the functioning of American democracy will not be tolerated. The FBI will always uphold the rights of all citizens who peacefully engage in First Amendment protected activities, but we and our partners will continue to hold accountable those who engaged in illegal acts regarding the January 6, 2021, siege on the U.S. Capitol.”
Here are evidentiary quotes from Rhodes presented in the case:
-- "We aren’t getting through this without a civil war. Too late for that. Prepare your mind, body, spirit," Stewart Rhodes, in a Nov. 5, 2020 text to a group of Oath Keepers.
-- "If you fail to do your duty, you will leave We the People no choice but to walk in the founders footsteps, by declaring the regime illegitimate, incapable of representing us, destructive of the just ends of government - to secure our liberty. And, like the founding generation, we will take to arms in defense of our God-given liberty." - December 2020 open letter posted online from Rhodes to then-President Trump.
-- "Show the world who the traitors are, and then use the (Insurrection Act) to drop the hammer on them. And all of us veterans who swore that oath, until you're age 65, you can be called up as the militia to support and defend the constitution ... He needs to know from you, that you are with him. That if he does not do it now, while he is commander in chief, we are going to have to do it ourselves later, in a much more desperate, much more bloody war. Let's get it on now, while he is still the commander in chief." - Rhodes in a speech prior to the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.
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Sources: US Department of Justice, Reuters