Over Two Decades In Jail For MAGA Riot Leader Sought By Prosecutors

0
705

Federal prosecutors are seeking 25 years in prison for Stewart Rhodes, the founder and national leader of the far-right extremist group the Oath Keepers who was convicted of seditious conspiracy in connection to the Capitol riot.

Since the verdict against Rhodes, individuals involved with fellow far-right group the Proud Boys have also been convicted of the same criminal charge stemming from the Capitol riot. Rhodes didn’t even enter the Capitol building during the assault on the premises by thousands of Trump supporters who’d been incited by his lies about the then-recent presidential election, but for an extended period of time before the riot unfolded, Rhodes and others angled for violent action, including through the invocation of portions of federal law that would’ve apparently allowed for Trump to assemble a militia. The idea is members of the Oath Keepers would have been prepared to serve in those roles, though they generally weren’t in government. To that end, they also stockpiled substantial weaponry.

As highlighted by The Washington Post, prosecutors have accused defendants in the Oath Keepers case with Rhodes of key roles in facilitating the spread of encouragement towards what became the violent attack on the Capitol. Once at the Capitol, members of the Oath Keepers were infamously seen heading into the building in what is known as a stack formation, with participants placing a hand onto a shoulder of the rioter in front of them as they made their way inside. Though the defense has undercut the idea there were specific plans to take actions seen that day, prosecutors argued what the Post summarized as “tacit” agreement was exemplified in the lead-up to and during the attack. It’s clear the aims these people were serving. For the most part, in their private chats that have surfaced in the course of these criminal investigations, they weren’t exactly being secretive with their intentions!

Elsewhere in Capitol riot cases, a federal judge has sentenced riot participant Peter Schwartz to over 14 years in prison after joining violence inside the Lower West Terrace tunnel, where officer Daniel Hodges was infamously injured. Schwartz had a decades-long history of criminal convictions involving actions like physical violence and antagonism of law enforcement before ever arriving at the Capitol. There, he helped distribute chemical irritants taken from what law enforcement had on hand to rioters for use against police officers. Schwartz, whose sentence is the longest actually imposed on any rioter, also hurled a chair at police at an opportune moment, helping drive officers back as rioters tried to force their way into the building.