Militia Leader Gets 18 Years Over Capitol Attack

Friday, May 26, 2023 | Tag Cloud

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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

WASHINGTON, USA (Worthy News) – Two members of the far-right Oath Keepers militia received lengthy prison sentences Thursday for their involvement in 2021 on the U.S. Capitol, which houses the Congress.

The primary militia leader Stewart Rhodes received an 18-year prison sentence for “seditious conspiracy,” the harshest penalty given yet over the January 6 assault.

Oath Keepers Florida chapter leader Kelly Meggs was sentenced to 12 years in prison on similar charges related to the U.S. Capitol breach.

Out of the more than 1,000 people charged over the attack, Stewart Rhodes was singled out for directing his group to descend on Washington and use violence if necessary to prevent Joe Biden from becoming president.

“Seditious conspiracy is among the most serious crimes an American can commit,” said Judge Amit Mehta pronouncing the sentence.

“You present an ongoing threat and a peril to this country,” Mehta told Rhodes, who organized the Oath Keepers January 6 participation in the attack on the Capitol by rioters claiming to be supporters of then-president Donald J. Trump.

“You are smart, charismatic, and compelling, and that is frankly what makes you dangerous,” Mehta said — rejecting 57-year-old Rhodes’ claim that he was a “political prisoner.”


The sentence fell short of the 25 years the government had sought, although Mehta accepted the argument that the Oath Keepers’ plan to block Biden’s presidency violently amounted to terrorism.

Just ahead of the sentence, Rhodes, wearing an eye patch and dressed in his orange prison jumpsuit, defiantly defended his group and their actions supporting Trump.

“My only crime is opposing those destroying our country,” he declared, comparing himself to the famed Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Along with a 12-year prison sentence, Meggs, 53, of Dunnellon, Florida, was sentenced to three years of supervised release.

“Today’s sentences reflect the grave threat the actions of these defendants posed to our democratic institutions,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in a reaction. “The United States proved at trial that the Oath Keepers plotted for months to violently disrupt the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next.”

Garland pledged that the “Justice Department will continue to do everything in our power to hold accountable those criminally responsible for the January 6th attack on our democracy.”


Rhodes and Meggs were found guilty on November 29, 2022, after an eight-week trial and three days of deliberation.

Over 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes stemming from the riot.

About 500 people have been sentenced, and over half have received prison terms ranging from a week to over 14 years.

Up until Thursday, the longest sentence was given to a man with a lengthy criminal record who attacked police officers with pepper spray and a chair as he stormed the Capitol, trial observers said.

Trump has vehemently denied inciting crowds to storm the U.S. Capitol after authorities said the official results showed that he had lost the 2020 presidential elections.

However, the president has declined to recognize his defeat, citing evidence of “fraud,” despite the U.S. Congress recognizing the outcome.

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