Long sentences for militia leaders

The prosecution of more than 1,000 attackers of the US Capitol in 2021 continues.

(FILES) Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers, is seen on a screen during a House Select Committee hearing to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol, in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on June 9, 2022. To Stewart Rhodes, his conviction for leading the far-right Oath Keepers militia in the January 6, 2021 assault on the US Capitol made him America’s premier political prisoner — the equivalent of Russian dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. But for Judge Amit Mehta, who sentenced the Yale Law graduate to 18 years in prison May 25, 2023, Rhodes is a self-obsessed criminal who took up arms against the US government in a brazen conspiracy of sedition, threatening terror on the US Congress. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP)

The leader and one official of an American militia involved in attacking the United States Capitol on 6 January 2021 have received long prison terms for sedition.

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment while the chief of the group’s Florida branch, Kelly Meggs, got a 12-year sentence for plotting to overthrow the government or unlawfully opposing its authority.

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

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

Rhodes, Meggs and three other Oath Keepers were convicted by a Washington jury in November in the first trial to apply the charge of sedition to the actions of some of those involved in the rioting.

During the Oath Keepers trial, prosecutors said the group “concocted a plan for an armed rebellion… plotting to oppose by force the government of the United States.”

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