The leader of one of America's worst white supremacist domestic terrorist organizations has just been sentenced to 18 years in federal prison for his role in the January 6th terrorist attack.
The founder of the far-right Oath Keepers has been sentenced to 18 years in federal prison in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol following his conviction on seditious conspiracy.
The sentence for Stewart Rhodes is the longest imposed on a Jan. 6 defendant to date. “You, sir, present an ongoing threat and a peril to this country and to the republic and to the very fabric of this democracy," Judge Amit Mehta said before handing down the sentence.
Rhodes was convicted of seditious conspiracy in November along with Kelly Meggs, a fellow Oath Keepers member who will be sentenced later Thursday afternoon.
"They won't fear us until we come with rifles in hand," Rhodes wrote in a message ahead of the Jan. 6 attack. After the attack, in a recording that was played in court during his trial, he said his only regret was that they “should have brought rifles.”
When given the chance to speak before sentencing, Rhodes, wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, called himself a "political prisoner" and said he believes the only crime he committed was opposing those who are “destroying our country.” He added that he hopes former President Donald Trump wins in 2024.
Mehta told Rhodes that he was found guilty of seditious conspiracy “not because of your beliefs, not because you supported the other guy, not because Joe Biden is president right now,” but because of the facts of the case, and his actions before, during and after Jan. 6.
“You are not a political prisoner, Mr. Rhodes,” Mehta said.
Rhodes and Meggs were put on trial alongside Jessica Watkins, Kenneth Harrelson and Thomas Caldwell, fellow Oath Keepers who were convicted of obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting, but not seditious conspiracy. Watkins and Harrelson will be sentenced on Friday.
Rhodes is hoping Trump wins because Trump has already promised to pardon and other January 6th terrorists as soon as he takes office, and has made that promise on multiple occasions. Whether or not Trump would actually do that is up in the air, Trump's view of other people is 100% transactional in nature, but I suspect Trump would employ Rhodes and his crew as armed enforcers if he did.
Ron DeSantis says he'd consider pardoning all the January 6th terrorists as well, so it's not just Trump. Any Republican presidential winner would be under heavy pressure to do so.
Hopefully Rhodes stays in his new home until 2041 or so, or he leaves early in a bag, I'm fine with either...
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