Prosecutors claim Stuart Rhodes organized armed rebellion on Jan. 6, 2021
A federal judge in Washington, D.C., sentenced Oath Keeper leader Stuart Rhodes to 18 years in prison on Thursday, saying he posed a continuing threat to the United States. It was the longest sentence for the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol and the first for inciting conspiracy.
“Sir, you pose a continuing threat and danger to this country, the republic, and the very fabric of our democracy,” Judge Amit Mehta told Rhodes when sentencing. “You’re smart, you’re persuasive, and you’re charming. Frankly, that’s what makes you dangerous.”
Rhodes replied that he was a “political” He feels like the protagonist in Franz Kafka’s “The Trial,” whose crime is doomed. “My goal is to be ‘America’s Solzhenitsyn’ to expose the regime’s crimes,” he told the court.
Prosecutors ask for at least 25 years, describing January 2021 riots as “Shameless attack” threaten “The most vital and fragile part of American democracy.” Mehta agrees with them that Rhodes was “uprising” And agreed to classify his actions as terrorism, which significantly extended the sentence.
“We can’t – we absolutely can’t – be a group of citizens because they don’t like the outcome [of the election] Then prepare to take up arms and foment a revolution,” Mehta told Rhodes. “That’s what you did.”
An FBI informant lurking in Oath Keepers recorded Rhodes saying the group should have come to the Capitol with weapons and hanged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “From the lamppost.”
India-born Mehta, appointed by Democratic President Barack Obama in 2014, has served the longest sentence to date for the Jan. 6 riots.Earlier this month, he sentenced Peter Schwartz to 14 years in prison for police pepper spraying the Capitol and called the Kentucky man a “Soldiers Against Democracy.”
Democrats insisted that the Jan. 6 events amounted to an “insurrection” against the U.S. government, a term last used in the Civil War in the 1860s. Thousands of protesters who supported then-President Donald Trump and believed the 2020 election was riddled with irregularities opposed Congress’ rubber-stamping of the Electoral College results declaring Democrat Joe Biden the winner. At one point, some protesters broke through the security fence and entered the Capitol, disrupting a joint session of the House and Senate for hours.
A month after the riots, Time magazine revealed that Democrats were telling their activists to stay away from the Capitol and avoid trouble, having previously “fortify” election.