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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Oath Keepers Leader Stewart Rhodes Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison for Jan. 6 Crimes

A federal judge sentenced the founder of the Oath Keepers militia group to 18 years in prison on May 25 for seditious conspiracy and other crimes related to the U.S. Capitol breach, after a defiant Rhodes stood before him and insisted he is a “political prisoner.”

“For decades, Mr. Rhodes, it is clear you have wanted the democracy of this country to devolve into violence,” U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta told Stewart Rhodes, the Oath Keepers founder.

“You are not a political prisoner, Mr. Rhodes,” the Obama appointee said, adding that he believes Rhodes represents an “ongoing threat” to the country.

Rhodes was convicted in 2022 of seditious conspiracy for his part in the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the Capitol.

Seditious conspiracy alone carries up to 20 years in prison. Rhodes was also convicted of obstruction of an official proceeding and tampering with documents or proceedings.

He was acquitted of two other charges.

Rhodes told The Epoch Times previously that he was being persecuted for being himself, describing a “political persecution campaign.”

Prosecutors had sought 25 years in prison for Rhodes. Lawyers for Rhodes asked for time served.

Mehta handed down an 18-year sentence—the lengthiest term yet in the Jan. 6 cases. He applied sentencing enhancements based on factors including Rhodes’ “terroristic conduct,” saying the evidence showed that Rhodes “was at the top of the chain” and he was culpable for the actions of the Oath Keepers.

Multiple other Oath Keepers have been convicted of seditious conspiracy and other crimes related to Jan. 6.

Rhodes told the judge that he was a political prisoner.

“I believe this country is incredibly divided. And this prosecution—not just of me, but of all J6ers—is making it even worse. I consider every J6er a political prisoner and all of them are being grossly overcharged,” he said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

This story will be updated.

From The Epoch Times

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