Oathkeeper Stewart Rhodes sentenced to 18 years after Jan. 6 seditious conspiracy conviction
Oathkeeper founder Stewart Rhodes was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Thursday following a seditious conspiracy conviction in connection to the Jan. 6 riot.
This is the first sentence handed down to any defendant convicted of seditious conspiracy related to Jan. 6 and represents the longest sentence given to any Jan. 6 defendant so far.
Government prosecutors had been seeking a sentence of 25 years for Rhodes.
Before handing down the sentence, U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta addressed Rhodes directly.
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“Mr. Rhodes. You have been convicted of seditious conspiracy. You’re a lawyer. You understand what that means,” the federal judge said. “Among the most serious crimes an individual American can commit … an offense against the people of our country.”
“And what was the motive? You didn’t like the new guy,” Mehta said, noting that “just because someone supported the former president doesn’t mean they’re a white nationalist.”
“What we absolutely cannot have is a group of citizens … prepared to take up arms in order to foment a revolution, and that’s what you did,” the judge continued.
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“You asked them to prepare for war,” Mehta said, recalling Rhodes’ call to supporters.
“You’re not a political prisoner, you’re here for that conduct,” Mehta said. “That was a jury of your peers, make no mistake about it.”
“I dare say we all now hold our collective breaths, every time an election is approaching,” the judge said.
Mehta applauded law enforcement who responded to the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
“The heroism of those who were protecting democracy as we know it. They laid their bodies on the line.… There is nobody more emblematic of keeping oaths than those police officers,” the judge said. “You sir present an ongoing threat to the safety of this country.”
This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.