Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers, was today jailed for 18 years for leading a mob to storm the Capitol on January 6.
The 58-year-old’s sentence is the longest handed down to the hundreds of Donald Trump supporters who ransacked the seat of US democracy on January 6, 2021. Rhodes was found guilty of seditious conspiracy in November.
Judge Amit P. Mehta told Rhodes: ‘You sir, present an ongoing threat and a peril to this country, to the republic and the very fabric of our democracy … The moment you are released you will be prepared to take up arms against your government.’
Mehta described Rhodes, a Yale-graduate who founded the Oath Keepers in 2009, as a disturbingly charismatic figure who convinced dozens of members of the far-right group to travel to Washington with the deliberate intention of stoking unrest.
‘They too are victims, victims of the lies, the propaganda, the rhetoric and ultimately the intention that you conveyed,’ Mehta said.
Rhodes remained defiant as he stood before the judge claiming he was, like Trump, a ‘political prisoner’ and pledging ‘to expose the criminality of this regime’. His attorney said he will appeal the conviction.