Oathkeeper leader targets Proud Boys in court hearing

Stewart Rhodes, the founder and leader of the Oath Keepers, compared his far-right group with the Proud Boys during his sentencing hearing on Thursday afternoon, saying there was a major difference.

“Unlike other groups like the Proud Boys, who seek conflict and seek to fight in the streets, we deter,” Rhodes said, according to a tweet from Politico’s Kyle Cheney.

Rhodes, who was found guilty on several counts, including seditious conspiracy, in connection with the January 6, 2021 riot at the United States Capitol, was sentenced at the hearing to 18 years in prison. Prosecutors reportedly asked for 25 years in prison but got the judge to accept a heavier sentence because of the “enhancement of terrorism” sentences.

Rhodes is the first person charged in the January 6 attack to be convicted of seditious conspiracy. His sentence was also the longest handed down to date in the hundreds of cases involving those charged in the Capitol riot, the Associated Press reported.

Members of the Oath Keepers attend the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC On Thursday, Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes was sentenced to 18 years in prison for his role in the United States Capitol riot. UNITED STATES.
Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

Prosecutors said Rhodes organized an “armed force” and “orchestrated and then directed this plot”, according to Cheney.

Newsweek contacted Rhodes attorney Phillip Linder by email for comment.

Rhodes called himself a political prisoner during the hearing. But Judge Amit Mehta told him: “What we cannot have, we absolutely cannot have, is a group of citizens who, because they did not like the result, were then ready to take arms to foment a revolution. You did. . You are not a political prisoner, Mr. Rhodes.

The judge continued: “You, sir, present a continuing threat and peril to this country, to the republic and to the very fabric of our democracy.”

Earlier this year, four members of the Proud Boys, another far-right group involved in the January 6 riot, were convicted of seditious conspiracy. Among them, the group’s former leader, Enrique Tarrio. Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl and Ethan Nordean were also convicted of this charge along with others.

Former elected state attorney and federal prosecutor Michael McAuliffe said Newsweek On Thursday, “Rhodes’ testimony during his sentencing appears to be in direct contradiction to the evidence at trial and the jury’s verdict.”

“Rhodes is facing one of the most significant convictions of all the January 6 prosecutions, so it’s no surprise he’s trying to dull the sharp edges of his past conduct,” he said. .

“Such statements that his group, the Oath Keepers, do in fact deter violence are unlikely to reduce his sentence in any way,” McAuliffe said before Rhodes was given 18 years.


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