U.S. militia group guilty of sedition

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Four members of the far-right Oath Keepers militia group were found guilty Monday of sedition for taking part in the 6 January 2021 attack on the United States Capitol.

A jury convicted Roberto Minuta, Joseph Hackett, David Moerschel and Edward Vallejo of conspiring against the US government when they sought to block Congress’s certification of Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump in the November 2020 election.

In a separate Washington courtroom Monday, meanwhile, Richard Barnett, the man famously photographed on 6 January with his feet on a desk in House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, was convicted of disrupting Congress and other crimes.

The convictions brought to around 530 the number of people who have been found guilty or pleaded guilty for taking part in what prosecutors have called an insurrection to keep Trump in the White House after his election loss.

More than 950 people have been arrested for taking part, most on lesser charges of illegally entering the Capitol or causing property damage.

But more than 280 have been charged with assaulting law enforcement officers and 50 with serious conspiracy crimes.

Monday’s verdicts came two months after the conviction of two 6 January Oath Keepers for seditious conspiracy. It is extremely rare for prosecutors to press this charge, and conviction can bring up to 20 years in prison.

The verdicts appeared to increase the chance for a similar ruling in the ongoing trial of another far-right group, the Proud Boys, for their roles in the attacks.

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