April 15, 2024
Militia Leader Gets 18 Years In Prison Over US Capitol Attack
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Militia Leader Gets 18 Years In Prison Over US Capitol Attack

The founder of America’s far-right Oath Keepers militia, Mr. Stewart Rhodes, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for seditious conspiracy in the 2021 attack on the US Capitol, the toughest penalty given yet over the January 6 assault.

He was one of more than 1,000 people charged over the attack, which, encouraged by then-president Donald Trump, aimed to block Congress from certifying Joe Biden as the winner of the November 2020 election.

The Judge, Amit Mehta, in pronouncing the sentence said seditious conspiracy is among the most serious crimes an American can commit. He added that Mr. Rhodes represented an ongoing threat and a peril to the USA. Mr. Rhodes led the Oath Keepers and organized their participation, with a stockpile of arms, in the attack on the Capitol by supporters of President Trump.

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The sentence fell short of the 25 years the government had sought, although Judge Mehta accepted the argument that the Oath Keepers’ plan to violently block Biden from becoming president amounted to terrorism. 

His group’s stockpiling weapons just outside the city and wearing combat-style gear in an organized push into the building, showed a level of planning and preparation for violence not present with many of the others in the crowd.

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