WASHINGTON – A federal jury on Tuesday in Washington found Oath Keepers founder Steward Rhodes guilty of seditious conspiracy in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol attack.
Rhodes has been convicted by a jury of seditious conspiracy for orchestrating a plan to stop a peaceful transfer of power after former President Donald Trump lost in the 2020 election to Joe Biden, according to CNN.
A jury in Washington, D.C., found Rhodes guilty of sedition after three days of deliberations in a trial that was nearly two months long, according to The Associated Press. Rhodes was convicted of seditious conspiracy for a violent plot to overturn Biden’s presidential win. This is a major victory for the Justice Department as they continue to prosecute for the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection.
Rhodes did not go inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 but was accused of leading the plot to stop the transfer of presidential power, according to the AP.
Rhodes along with two other defendants reportedly took the stand in their defense during the trial. Rhodes reportedly told jurors that he did not plan to attack the Capitol and had insisted that his followers went into the building on their own, that they went rogue, according to the AP.
In recordings and other encrypted messages, jurors got to hear how Rhodes gathered up his followers to help keep former President Trump in office, and had even warned of a civil war, according to the AP.
A charge of seditious conspiracy is rarely used, and it dates back to the Civil War-era that calls for up to 20 years behind bars, according to the AP.
Rhodes was on trial along with four others, including Jessica Watkins, Kelly Meggs, Kenneth Harrelson and Thomas Caldwell, According to NBC News,
Watkins led an Ohio militia group and Meggs led the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers, according to the AP. Harrelson was another Florida Oath Keeper, and Caldwell was a retired Navy intelligence officer from Virginia.
According to CNN, Meggs was also convicted by a jury in addition to Rhodes. The three others – Watkins, Harrelson and Caldwell – were acquitted.