Top Oath Keeper Ordered To Be Held In Jail Over Seditious Conspiracy

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Federal Judge John Z. Boyle has ordered Edward Vallejo — a member of the violent far-right group known as the Oath Keepers — to be held in jail ahead of further proceedings. Vallejo is charged with seditious conspiracy in connection to his actions around the Capitol riot; he was charged in direct conjunction to the same charge getting doled out against Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers. Boyle told Vallejo that there’s “compelling evidence about your potential for danger.”

Vallejo’s past comments indicate a readiness on his part for what he called “guerilla war.” As he previously commented, Americans “are going to be told today that we have liberty and justice for all, or they’re going to be told, ‘Fuck you.’ Okay? And if they’re told, ‘Fuck you,’ that’s going to be the declaration of a guerilla war.” Along those lines, Vallejo took tangible steps to seemingly prepare for such a thing — he was involved in stashing weapons in the vicinity of D.C. around the time of the riot, with the weapons meant for the usage of people on the ground in the nation’s capital if group members saw whatever opening that they were looking for. Rhodes backed that effort, which involved assembling a so-called “quick reaction force,” or QRF. At one point, Rhodes said that we “WILL have a QRF, this situation calls for it.”

Vallejo’s other charges apparently include conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstructing an official proceeding and aiding and abetting, and conspiracy to prevent any officer from completing their duties. The seditious conspiracy charge alone comes with a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, if convicted. Although conspiracy charges had previously been deployed against individuals tied to the riot, the revelation of seditious conspiracy charges against Vallejo, Rhodes, and others was the first occasion when prosecutors formally alleged something along the lines of “sedition” or “insurrection” in their charges. Rhodes spent awhile preparing for violence before January 6 actually arrived; on December 11, 2020, for example, he wrote in a group chat that if Biden took his rightful place as president, then “it will be a bloody and desperate fight. We are going to have a fight. That can’t be avoided.” Rhodes has a hearing on his detention status scheduled for January 24.

Featured Image (edited): via Blink o’fanaye on Flickr and available under a Creative Commons License