Militia leader gets 18 years in prison over US Capitol attack

WASHINGTON: The founder of the far-right militia The Oath-Keepers was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Thursday for plotting to rebel during the 2021 attacks on the United States. United States capitalThe heaviest punishment was given in the January 6 attack.
Stewart Rhodes was one of more than 1,000 people accused of the attack, encouraged by then-president Donald Trump to prevent Congress from confirming Joe Biden as the winner of the November 2020 election.
“Conspiracy to mutiny is one of the most serious crimes an American can commit,” Judge said Amit Mehta when pronouncing sentences.
Mehta spoke to Rhodes, who led the Oath-Keepers and organized their participation, with a stockpile of weapons, in the attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters.
“You’re smart and charismatic and attractive and frankly, that makes you dangerous,” said Mehta – rebutting Rhodes’ claims he was a “political prisoner”.
The sentence fell from the 25 years the government had sought, though Mehta accepted the argument that the Oath-Keepers’ plan to brutally prevent Biden from becoming president was terrorism.
Just before sentencing, Rhodes, wearing an eye patch and orange prison uniform, staunchly defended his group and their actions in support of Trump.
“My only crime is against those who destroy our country,” he declared, comparing himself to prominent Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
But the fact that his team stocked up on weapons just outside the city and dressed in combat gear during an organized attack on the building shows a level of planning and preparation for violence that many others have. In the crowd there is none.
Rhodes, 57, and Kelly Meggs, 53, leaders of Florida’s Oath Keepers’ program, were found guilty by a Washington grand jury in November of the rarely pursued count of conspiracy to sedition – – plot to overthrow the government or illegally oppose it.
In the same trial, three other Oath-Keepers were found guilty of obstructing a formal proceeding, when rioters shut down Congress and brought in fleeing lawmakers and vice president Mike Pence. safety.
During the trial, prosecutors said the Oath Keepers “drawn a plan for an armed insurrection… plot against the government of the United States by force.”
Rhodes’ attorneys argued that he himself had never entered the Capitol and that he did not support others to do so.
But Mehta denied that to reduce the sentence.
Mehta said Rhodes was apparently the leader of the group and summoned them to Washington with an arsenal of weapons for the violent attack.
“Stewart Rodes is a graduate of Yale Law and is quite an intelligent person,” the judge said. “He’s the one who gives orders… They’re there for him.”
However, Rhodes’ attorney, Phillip Linder, said he should not be responsible for the Capitol attack and pointed the finger at Trump.
“I think what happened on January 6 is deplorable,” Linder told the court.
But Rhodes was not planning the uprising, he insisted.
“We need to look at what caused this… Who started the Million Maga rally?… Who started January 6?” Linder said.
“He’s not the one to start the rhetoric that gets people going.”


News5h: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button