The case against Oath Keepers depends on the infrequent use of the conspiracy theories

A few weeks after the 2020 election, Stuart Rhodes, the founder and leader of the far-right Oath Keepers militia, gave some tough advice to then-President Donald Trump. Save it to put pressure on “traitors” to reverse Joe Biden’s “fraudulent” victory.

“The survival of our nation as a free Constitutional Republic depends on balance,” Rhodes wrote in an open letter to Trump’s counterpart Kelly Sorrell.

Rhodes’s activities On the eve of January 6, 2021, a riot in the US Capitol, including the purchase of more than $ 20,000 worth of firearms, which he brought to a motel in the Washington area, has now put him in a DC jail. where he is awaiting trial in the Department of Justice for the most distant, significant cases brought in as a result of efforts to block the certification of Electoral College votes in the presidential election.

Justice Department prosecutors have charged Rhodes, a former U.S. Army paratrooper who graduated from Yale Law School in 2009, and his 10 companions, Oath Keepers, with plotting to overthrow the election results in a “rebel conspiracy.” Rhodes and nine other defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges. one defendant pleaded guilty.

Oath Keepers founder Stuart Rhodes addresses a rally near the White House in Washington in 2017.  (Susan Walsh / AP)

Oath Keepers founder Stuart Rhodes addresses a rally near the White House in Washington in 2017. (Susan Walsh / AP)

The application of the law on insurgent conspiracy, which also dates back to the 19th century, was a bold step by the ministry. The charter was rarely enforced, in part because of civil liberties issues. One of the lesser-known cases in which such allegations were made to prosecute alleged domestic terrorists was when four militants demanding Puerto Rican independence from the United States fired on the House of Representatives in 1954, injuring several members of Congress. The shooters և more than a dozen co-perpetrators were later convicted of insurgency, and the leader of the militant group that organized the attack spent 35 years in prison. Prosecutors have also handed down verdicts against nine Egyptian imams, known as the “Blind Sheikh” of Egypt’s Omar Abdel-Rahman, at a UN headquarters in New York, as well as for plotting to blow up bridges and tunnels there.

The last time the DOJ tried to use the law was against members of the Hutaree, a far-right Michigan militiaman whose members allegedly planned to kill a police officer in 2010 and then bomb his funeral. The conspiracy charges in the case were dismissed by a federal judge, who considered them excessive. Three members of the Hutaree were eventually found guilty of possession of a machine gun and sentenced to time.

However, some legal experts say that the evidence that Rhodes and his associates were plotting to use violence on January 6 is so reprehensible that it can justify the accusation of rioting in this case.

To obtain a verdict, prosecutors do not need to prove that the defendants actually committed a blatant riot, such as an organized attack on the Capitol to “overthrow” the government or “delay the implementation of any law.” United States: “But they have to prove that two or more individuals conspired together to commit such an act.

Members of the Oath-Keepers

Members of the Guardian at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 (Manuel Balche Seneta / AP)

“The government has to prove that each individual participated in a conspiracy,” Jimmy Gurul, a law professor at Notre Dame University who served as the top Treasury official during the administration of former President George W. Bush, told Yahoo News. Gurule said that when such cases are initiated, they are based mainly on indirect-indirect evidence. The video shows Oath Keepers members, including many but not all, accused of plotting a coup, joining a “pile formation” on the steps leading up to the east side of the Capitol on January 6. Federal investigators say. The accused Oath Keepers also communicated with each other through “Signal” through a highly encrypted web application, ostensibly to avoid law enforcement agencies. This is the indirect evidence that prosecutors are likely to present in court, Gurule said.

A verdict on charges of conspiracy to commit a crime carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Rhodes’s nine alleged oath-takers are the only defendants to date who have been prosecuted on such charges, which Harvard law professor Lawrence Tribes and former federal prosecutor Dennis Aftergut have described as a “sister or brother of treason.”

Enrique Tario, the leader of the “Proud Boys”, the other militia group involved in the riots, also face charges of conspiracy, which could lead to up to 20 years in prison, but in their case the rebellion is not explicitly mentioned. In early April, Charles Donoho, the leader of the alleged “Proud Boys” from North Carolina, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and agreed to cooperate with investigators. According to prosecutors, in December 2020, Tarion Donohey was appointed head of the new “Proud Boys” department, which is called the Ministry of Self-Defense. The new chapter’s mission, according to prosecutors, was to plan Proud Boys rallies, including the group’s activities in Washington on January 6.

The rioters clashed with police

The insurgents clashed with police as they tried to enter the Capitol building through the front door, January 6, 2021. (Lev Radin / Pacific Press / LightRocket via Getty Images)

The fact that no members of the Proud Boys or other far-right groups, such as Three Percent, have been charged with insurgency so far, raises the question of how aggressively Attorney General Merrick Garland is prepared to use the charter. : .

The case against Rhodes has become even more important because, according to some legal experts, it also has the potential to lead to wider charges that could eventually be used against Trump’s aides, even Trump himself.

During their preliminary assessment of the January 6 riot cases, federal prosecutors և the FBI took a cautious approach to filing criminal charges. However, they initially looked at the role that Trump, a key supporter, or rally organizer, such as Roger Stone and Ali Alexander, could play in organizing a violent protest on the Capitol. In any case, as for Oath Keepers, prosecutors initially found that there was no big-headed conspiracy.

“Ninety-five percent of these are one-off cases,” a former senior law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation told Reuters last summer. “So you have 5%, maybe, of these militia groups that were more closely organized. “But Roger Stone և Alex Jones հետ had no major plans to attack the Capitol and take hostages.”

Several federal officials involved in the investigation told Yahoo News that the FBI believed that the protesters’ cells, including those of Oath Keepers և Proud Boys, were intended to invade the Capitol, but found little evidence that the groups They had serious plans for what to do. to do if they did it inside, the sources said.

Organizer Joe Biggs in a green hat, Proud Boys President Enrique Tario with a megaphone, and other Proud Boys's right-wing protesters marched on Hawthorne Bridge during a rally in Portland, Ore.

Organizer Joe Biggs in a green hat and Proud Boys leader Enrique Tario in a megaphone march with Proud Boys members and other right-wing protesters during a rally in Portland, Ore, in August 2019. (Noah Berger / AP)

Rhodes’s lawyers have denied that their client այլ other members of the Oath Keepers had any initial plans to attack the Capitol. “They were not there to attack the Capitol, stop the certification, take power,” the lawyers said briefly. “They were waiting for President Trump to pass the insurgency bill. He did not do it, so Rhodes and the others did nothing. ”

However, more recent revelations in the investigation into the January 6 uprising appear to suggest that members of the ombudsman այլ’s other groups that preceded the riot were in the system. In February, Reuters reported that two witnesses had told the FBI about a meeting on January 5 in a garage in central Rhodes with Proud Boys leader Enrique Tario, “among other far-right leaders,” and that the substance of the meeting was unclear.

Two days after the riot, security forces suspected that federal agents were pursuing Rhodes and his associates. On January 8, one of their lawyers warned the Signal group, which included Rhodes. “YOU ALL NEED TO DELETE FROM YOUR COMMENTS TO THE COMMENTS OF THE COMMENTS OF THE COMMENTS OF THE COMMENTS OF THE COMMENTS.


The riots broke out at two doors of Vice President Mike Pence’s office. Take a look at this 3D explanation of Yahoo Immersive.

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