Capitol attack: ‘Oath Keepers’ founder sentenced to 18 years in prison

by Sarah Ann Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the far-right Oath Keepers movement, was sentenced by a US federal judge on Thursday to 18 years in prison for conspiracy to commit treason and other crimes related to the deadly attack on the Capitol in Washington in January. 6, 2021.

While Stewart Rhodes reiterated during the hearing that he was a “political prisoner”, Judge Amit Mehta reprimanded him for “clearly wanting for decades this country’s democracy to switch to violence”.

“You are not a political prisoner, Mr. Rhodes,” he said, adding that he believed the Oath Keepers’ founder presented an “ongoing danger” to the United States.

Stewart Rhodes, a former soldier-turned-lawyer, was found guilty of the charges against him by a federal jury in Washington last November.

The prison term is the heaviest sentence imposed on him in connection with the attack on the Capitol by supporters of the then outgoing President of the United States, Donald Trump. The prosecution was seeking 25 years in prison.

More than 1,000 people have been charged after the attack to prevent Congress from certifying the election victory of Republican Donald Trump’s Democratic rival Joe Biden.

(Reporting by Sarah Ann Lynch; French edition by Jean Terzien)

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