According to the Department of Justice, he wanted to prevent the inauguration of US President Joe Biden with arms: Now the head of the right-wing extremist Oath Keepers has been arrested. He faces a long prison sentence.
The authorities arrested and charged the founder of the well-known far-right group Oath Keepers for the storming of the US Capitol a year ago. As the US Department of Justice announced on Thursday, 56-year-old Stewart Rhodes and ten other defendants are charged with “seditious conspiracy”. The legal term includes, among other things, an attempt to overthrow the US government by force. If convicted, the accused face up to 20 years in prison.
These are the first charges against the felony of “seditious conspiracy” in the January 6, 2021 investigation into the Capitol storming of January 6, 2021. Rhodes, the founder and leader of the Oath Keepers, was arrested Thursday in the state of Texas. Members of his militia had taken part in the storming of the Capitol.
Hundreds of radical supporters of President Donald Trump, who was voted out, stormed the Congress building in Washington when the victory of US Democrat Joe Biden in the November 2020 presidential election was to be certified there. The storming of the seat of Congress with five dead caused horror worldwide and is considered a black day in the history of US democracy.
“Following the November 3, 2020 presidential election, Rhodes conspired with the co-defendants and others to use force to prevent the execution of the January 20, 2021 presidential transfer laws,” the Justice Department said. From the end of December 2020, the accused had made secret plans to travel to the capital Washington and prevent Biden’s election victory from being certified. They also planned to bring guns.
Rhodes, known for his eye patch, founded the Oath Keepers in 2009. In particular, the militia recruits former or current police officers and soldiers. The group is classified as anti-government. The city of Washington sued the Oath Keepers and the right-wing group Proud Boys last December in a civil lawsuit over the storming of the Capitol. The US judiciary arrested more than 720 people in the course of processing January 6, 2021.