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Section leader Stuart Rhodes was found guilty of sedition in the U.S. Capitol riot plot


Section leader Stuart Rhodes was found guilty of sedition in the U.S. Capitol riot plot

In a major Justice Department victory

the founder of right-wing organization Oath Keepers, Stuart Rhodes, and another group leader were convicted on Tuesday of agitating conspiracy in connection with the attack on the U.S. Capitol by Donald's supporters. A trump card.

After three days of deliberation

  • the 12-member jury found Rhodes
  • and four defendants guilty in the most high-profile
  • case as a result of the deadly attack on the U.S.

Capitol on January 6, 2021

which was a failed attempt to overturn President Trump's 2020 election loss.

During an eight-week trial

the attorney general accused Rhodes

a dismissed lawyer from Yale Law School and former army paratrooper, of planning to use violence to prevent Congress from proving Democratic President Joe Biden's victory over Republican Donald Trump. Rhodes was found guilty on three counts and acquitted of two other counts.

Kelly Meggs :

  • was also convicted of agitating conspiracy.
  • Thomas Caldwell, Kenneth Harrelson
  • and Jessica Watkins were all acquitted of this claim.

With mixed results on a few other allegations, all five defendants were found guilty of obstructing an official proceeding -- congressional testimony of the election results.

Any charge of seditious conspiracy and obstruction of a government operation is punishable by 20 years' imprisonment.

Next month is scheduled to see

the commencement of

two other high-level trials linked to the attack.

Incitement conspiracy charges were brought against four additional members of the department's guards as well as members of the right-wing Proud Boys organization, including its former leader Enrique Tarrio.

Rhodes' lawyer James Lee Bright expressed the view that the Department of Justice's approach to other inflammatory conspiracy cases would be influenced by the judgement.

Going back in this

even though we're dissatisfied with it, you might talk about the fact that the Justice Department is going to do its best in the same way for all others, Bright told reporters outside court.

Rhodes is one of the most famous of the nearly 900 defendants charged in connection with the attack, wearing an eye patch after inadvertently shooting himself in the face with his gun. The only other defendant in this case along with Rhodes who held a leadership position within the department's guards is Meggs, a Florida branch commander.

In 2009 :

  • a militia that includes members of the U.S
  • military, law enforcement
  • and emergency services.

Its members have appeared at rallies

and political rallies across the country

often with heavy weapons, including racial justice demonstrations after a black man named George Floyd was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis.

In a statement, Attorney General Merrick Garland said:

The Justice Department is committed to holding criminally responsible for assaulting our democracy on January 6, 2021.

A "mixed bag" is how Rhodes' lawyer Ed Tarpley described the verdicts.

We are grateful for receiving the acquittals.

We are disappointed in the convictions,Tarpley told reporters outside the court. No evidence indicating a plan to attack the Capitol has been offered

In the course of the trial

the prosecution said Rhodes and the other defendants intended to use violence to prevent Congress from formally certifying Biden's victory. Miggs, Watkins and Harrelson all arrived at the Capitol wearing battle clothing.

The defendants were also accused of organizing a "quick reaction force" with weapons that could be quickly transported to Washington, according to the prosecution, and were stationed in a hotel near Virginia.

The trial brought together 50 witnesses

  • including Rhodes and two of his co-accused.
  • Although Watkins admitted to interfering with police officers' custody of
  • the Capitol, they denied planning any attack
  • or making an effort to stop Congress from announcing the election results.

Rhodes testified to the jury that he had no intention of breaking into the Capitol and that he did not discover that some of his fellow department guards had entered the structure until the altercation subsided.

During Rhodes' interrogation

the prosecution attempted to portray him as a liar by displaying a page after a page of his text messages, films, photographs and divisive audio recordings.

This included Rhodes

who complained that he had not brought firearms to Washington on January 6, and claimed that he could have hanged Nancy Pelosi, a right-wing Democrat.

In addition to Caldwell

a disabled former member of the U.S. Navy,

Watkins :

  • a transgender woman who left
  • the U.S. military after facing homophobic qualities
  • decided to testify.

After acknowledging "criminal responsibility"

  • Watkins regretted obstructing the application of the law within the Capitol.
  • At the same time, Watkins denied any plans to break into
  • the building and claimed that he had been "trapped" in

Caldwell tried to downplay some of

the incendiary texts he sent about the attack.

Caldwell :

like Rhodes

did not enter the Capitol and did not formally join the department's guards.

According to Caldwell, some lines are taken directly or influenced by dialogue from cartoons from Bugs Bunny films and films like "Princess Bride."

After the trial, lawyers for both Harrelson and Rhodes told reporters that they intended to challenge their clients' convictions.