It’s a major development in the investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol assault. The founder and leader of the far-right Oath Keepers militia, Stewart Rhodes, and ten other members were indicted on Wednesday for sedition, announced the Ministry of Justice on Thursday. Rhodes, a 56-year-old former US Army paratrooper arrested Thursday in Texas, and his associates are accused of participating in a “conspiracy” to “oppose by force the peaceful transfer of presidential power”.
This is the most serious charge to date against the 725 people indicted for their participation in the attack on the United States Congress during the certification of the presidential results of November 2020. It is punishable by a maximum 20 years in prison.
“Coordination” from the end of December
The militiamen are accused of having “organized and coordinated” from the end of December. “They organized transportation from across the country to Washington, armed themselves with all kinds of weapons, dressed in combat gear and were ready to respond to Rhodes’ calls to arms,” according to the indictment.
Stewart Rhodes, who founded the Oath Keepers in 2009, was near the Capitol but did not go inside. According to the Ministry of Justice, however, he supervised the action of the group via an encrypted communications app. Four previously indicted members are now cooperating with authorities in exchange for a more lenient sentence.