Attack on US Capitol: Oath Keepers leader charged

As of: 01/13/2022 9:53 p.m

He is said to have stockpiled weapons and planned to storm the US Capitol. Now the head of the extreme right-wing militia “Oath Keepers” has been arrested. He and ten other members of the group face long prison sentences.

A year after the storming of the US Capitol, the Justice Department has indicted the leader of the far-right militia “Oath Keepers” and ten other members of the group. The ministry said they were charged with “seditious conspiracy”. The legal term includes, among other things, an attempt to overthrow the US government by force.

The founder and leader of the militia, Stewart Rhodes, was arrested in Texas. The accused face up to 20 years in prison. The “Oath Keepers” focus on recruiting police officers, soldiers and paramedics.

First charges of “seditious conspiracy”

The charges against Rhodes and his associates are the first of “seditious conspiracy” charges brought by the Justice Department in connection with the January 6 events. Texas resident Rhodes is the senior member of an extremist group arrested in connection with the Capitol storm.

The attackers had forced their way into the Capitol, engaged in scuffles with police and vandalized offices of lawmakers. The members of Congress had to be taken to safety by the police, and some barricaded themselves. There were five dead. Later that night, Congress reconvened and endorsed Biden’s victory. The attack on the heart of US democracy shook the country.

Rhodes is said to have plotted

Rhodes, 56, did not enter the Capitol a year ago. However, he is accused of helping to incite the violence that caused the certification of the election victory to be interrupted.

Rhodes is said to have conspired with the co-defendants with the aim of using violence to prevent the change of power after the presidential election. Among other things, they planned the journey to Washington on January 6th, organized weapons and paramilitary equipment and organized training for combat techniques in advance.

Several of the defendants had entered the Capitol themselves, while others had taken care of further coordination outside the seat of Congress and partly outside the city.

A maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison could be imposed for “seditious conspiracy,” it said. According to the Justice Department, more than 725 people have been arrested in almost every state in connection with the attack on the Capitol. The investigation into the case is ongoing.

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