DOJ charges Oath Keepers founder, 10 others with conspiracy to commit treason in connection with January 6 riots
The Department of Justice has unveiled charges of treason against 11 defendants, including Elmer Stuart Rhodes III, founder and leader of the right-wing Oth Keepers militia group, for his role in the January 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.
On January 6, 2021, then-President Trump repeatedly claimed that the 2020 election had been stolen from him, with thousands of his supporters marching from Freedom Plaza near the White House to the Capitol. The legislators evacuated the complex and temporarily suspended the certificate of results of the Electoral College as the rioters broke through the police line and entered the building.
Ashley Babbitt, 35, was shot dead by a Capitol police officer Air Force Veteran, who was trying to push his way into the House Chamber. Another died during the riots after suffering a drug overdose, and two others died of natural causes in a medical emergency. Brian Sicknick, a 42-year-old Capitol police officer, was struck with pepper Sprinkled during the chaos and died the next day suffering from two thromboembolic strokes. Four other officers who responded to the riot committed suicide in the following months.
Jaan. 6 Capital Riots – One year later, DC remains on edge
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia previously charged more than 700 people nationwide for their alleged involvement in the riots, including at least 81 current or former service members. CBS News reports. Of those, about 275 defendants have been charged with the serious offense of “corruptly obstructing, influencing or attempting to obstruct” the Electoral College Certificate.
More than 150 defendants have pleaded guilty, and 71 have been sentenced since Jan. 1. According to Politico. Most of those convicted on Jan. 6 were convicted of illegal entry into the Capitol building, and less than half have been jailed. On January 6, 2022, the central prison sentence for the Capitol riots was 45 days.
Robert Palmer – who confessed to throwing a wooden plank at police outside the Capitol and spraying fire extinguishers on officers, then throwing an empty device at police – has received the harshest sentence in more than five years in prison.
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Democrats and media outlets have called the riots a “revolt,” although no defendants have been charged with sedition or treason until new charges were filed against Rhodes and others on January 13.
The House of Representatives impeached Trump a week after the riots for “inciting rebellion,” with 10 Republicans voting in favor, the highest ever impeachment vote by a presidential party. Trump left office on January 20 and Senate He was acquitted more than three weeks later.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.