Prosecutors charge Oath Keepers leader, 10 others with seditious conspiracy

Source: Politico | January 13, 2022 | Kyle Cheney, Betsy Woodruff Swan and Josh Gerstein

The Justice Department has leveled its most serious charges yet stemming from Jan. 6, accusing the leader of the Oath Keepers militia and 10 others of seditious conspiracy.

The Justice Department has leveled its most serious charges yet stemming from the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, accusing the national leader of the far-right Oath Keepers militia and 10 others of seditious conspiracy by plotting to use force to block the peaceful transfer of presidential power a year ago.

Among those charged for the first time in one new grand jury indictment is Stewart Rhodes, a disbarred attorney alleged to have coordinated the attack on the Capitol who has long been of significant interest to federal prosecutors probing the insurrection by Donald Trump supporters.

Rhodes was arrested in Texas Thursday morning, the Justice Department said. The 48-page indictment begins with a description of a “plot to oppose by force the 2020 lawful transfer of presidential power.”

“The purpose of the conspiracy was to oppose the lawful transfer of presidential power by force, by preventing, hindering or delaying by force the execution of the laws governing the transfer of power, including the Twelfth and Twentieth Amendments to the Constitution,” the indictment reads. Among the goals of the conspiracy, prosecutors say, was “breaching and attempting to take control of the Capitol.”

Prosecutors have spent months building a case against Rhodes, describing with great detail his movements even as they delayed charging him alongside 19 other Oath Keepers previously indicted for breaching the Capitol.

Rhodes was present outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and there has been no public indication he entered the building. As the violent assault was underway, Rhodes was captured on video assembling his allies at a rally point outside the Capitol complex. Many of those who can be seen conversing with Rhodes were charged early last year as part of a sweeping conspiracy to halt Congress’ certification of the 2020 election.


Allies of former President Donald Trump, inside and outside of Congress, have pointed to the absence of sedition charges as evidence the Capitol riot is overhyped while attempting to downplay the violence of the attack.

Among the key elements of the plot, prosecutors say, was the establishment of a “quick reaction force“ — a stockpile of firearms and other weaponry — outside of Washington D.C. that could be called in to escalate the attack.


Rhodes was a vocal agitator in support of Trump’s effort to overturn the election in 2020. He repeatedly and publicly warned of violence if Biden’s election were affirmed. He rallied allies in the Oath Keepers to descend on Washington and encouraged Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act in an attempt to prevent Congress from sealing President Joe Biden’s victory.

On Jan. 6, 2021, his group stored weapons at a Comfort Inn in Virginia near the Capitol as part of their “quick reaction force,” federal prosecutors have alleged.

Among the men charged with seditious conspiracy are at least two photographed with Trump ally Roger Stone on Jan. 5, 2021 — Roberto Minuta and Joshua James. Stone, who has been subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 select committee, has not been accused of any wrongdoing and has disavowed any knowledge of the Oath Keepers’ intent to go to the Capitol.


Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.