Leader Of ‘The Oath Keepers’ Ordered To Remain In Jail

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Federal Judge Kimberly C. Priest Johnson has now ordered Oath Keepers founder and leader Stewart Rhodes to remain in jail ahead of his Capitol riot-tied trial on charges including seditious conspiracy. Alongside other individuals associated with his violent, far-right group, Rhodes prepared for violence in the lead-up to January 6 last year, including by buying tens of thousands of dollars worth of weaponry — some of which went to an effort to stockpile weapons at a hotel in the vicinity of D.C. for the potential usage of people in the capital. In delivering her decision to keep Rhodes in custody, Johnson noted that he appeared to constitute a flight risk. He’s been reported to have put a tunnel system in his backyard for making hypothetical getaways, and he’d even put unregistered vehicles in wooded areas near his residence.

Johnson also noted how Rhodes had talked about “inciting a revolution or civil war” that “had the potential to be massively bloody.” That threat hasn’t gone away, no matter the year-plus since the original incidents of January 6. Essentially, they’re still at it, with Trump at the helm, maniacally banging the drum for ludicrous and long-debunked claims of systematic election fraud as part of some kind of plot to tamp down on the Trump-led conservative movement. Tasha Adams, Rhodes’s estranged ex-wife, shared information with Judge Johnson about her firsthand experiences with the Oath Keepers leader, explaining that he would often brandish weapons in the home environment as a means of intimidation. Troublingly, Johnson noted that Adams “testified that [Rhodes’s] violence toward the family became more frequent in 2016 and that her greatest fear was that [he] would murder Ms. Adams and the children before committing suicide.”

If released, then, Rhodes could pose a physical danger in addition to the potential that he could flee from authorities ahead of his trial. If found guilty of seditious conspiracy, the charge comes with a potentially steep sentence of up to 20 years in jail — and it’s not the only charge that Rhodes is currently facing. Other individuals who were hit with the charge have also been ordered to pretrial detention, and a trial handling these charges has been tentatively set for this summer. Ex-President Trump continues to push his claims that the Capitol riot was essentially a logical outcome of the imaginary fraud that he insists cost him the election.