Oath Keepers members charged with sedition
Authorities arrested Oath Keepers leader and founder Stewart Rhodes on Thursday morning and charged him and 10 other members of the group with seditious conspiracy related to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. If convicted, the Oath Keepers members might serve up to 20 years in prison.
What are the allegations? Prosecutors say Rhodes wanted to stop the transition of presidential power to Joe Biden. They claim the Oath Keepers, led by Rhodes, plotted for weeks over the encrypted chat app Signal and video calls to stockpile weapons and form teams to invade the Capitol. In media interviews, Rhodes said he did not plan to storm the Capitol and the members who did went rogue. Rhodes himself did not enter the building on Jan. 6. Prosecutors say he held a video call days after the election telling members to defend Trump as the duly elected president. He allegedly called for the use of force if necessary on a private Signal group chat titled “DC OP: Jan 6 21.” It is not clear how the authorities accessed encrypted social media messages.
Dig deeper: Read my report with Esther Eaton in The Stew about what investigators, police, and the public have learned since the Capitol riot.
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