In the lead-up to the storming of the Capitol, Rhodes is said to have warned other department guards to prepare for a “bloody and desperate battle.” Supporters of former President Donald Trump tried that day to prevent the US Congress from confirming his election defeat. Five people were killed, including an officer, and hundreds were injured.
Rhodes, 56, who is accused of four other counts in addition to seditious conspiracy, has denied any involvement in the storming of the Capitol. He was never inside the Capitol, but he kept in touch from the outside with the members who were inside. He allegedly tried to keep his members out of trouble.
20 years imprisonment
Last year, 725 people were arrested for their involvement in the storming of the Capitol, at least 70 of whom were convicted. It is the first time that anyone has been charged with seditious conspiracy, that is, attempting to “overthrow, overthrow or destroy the Government of the United States.” If a judge finds Rhodes guilty, he could face up to 20 years in prison. Americans are not often accused of seditious conspiracy.
Oath Keepers is a loosely organized group of far-right activists, which has been described as Donald Trump’s shock group. The militia mainly recruits ex-policemen and soldiers.
Members of the far-right Proud Boys and Three Percenters were also previously accused of participating in the storming of the Capitol. Last week, US Attorney Merrick Garland vowed to do everything in his power to hold to account everyone who participated in the storming of the Capitol.
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