Four far-right Capitol rioters on trial over sedition charges
The ongoing inquiry into the attack aims to prove that former US President Donald Trump conspired to prevent the peaceful transfer of power.
Four members of the far-right Oath Keepers militia, including its founder Stewart Rhodes, will be tried this month over conspiracies of sedition in their involvement in the 2021 Capitol riots in Washington.
Out of the 870 people charged in the Capitol attack, the Oath Keepers are the first to be tried over the seditious conspiracy.
The four militiamen who plotted a military-style assault on the Capitol are charged with bearing arms against the government to keep Donald Trump in office following his election defeat. Attorneys are set to defend their clients by arguing they thought Trump would invoke the "Insurrection Act" - an act intended to empower the President of the United States to deploy US military and federalized National Guard troops across the United States in the case of civil disorder, insurrection, or rebellion.
Some have argued that this might reveal further details on the connections between the assault on Congress and former staffers of Trump's administration. So it was important for Judge Amit Mehta to resist efforts to move the trial out of Washington as locals would have likely prejudiced them over the violence of the riots.
Read more: Leader of Oath Keepers group arrested in January 6 probe
Stewart Rhodes's lawyer requested the judge to prohibit the use of terms such as "anti-government," "organized militia," "extremists," "racist", and "white nationalist" during the trial.
Some eight Oath Keepers in total have been charged with sedition, while another four will be tried by the beginning of November 29.
The price of reversing President Joe Biden's victory in the November 2020 election could cost about 20 years behind bars.
As per the trial, Rhodes and his followers conspired "to oppose by force the lawful transfer of presidential power."
"They equipped themselves with a variety of weapons," including combat and tactical gear for the riots.
Weeks prior to the assaults, Rhodes told his followers, "We aren't getting through this without civil war" in a group chat.
Most Oath Keepers members have been charged with storming the Capitol illegally and disrupting a session of the legislature during which Biden was confirmed as President-elect. They were also charged with assault on law enforcement.
Other far-right groups such as the Proud Boys were also charged with seditious conspiracy in June, but their case has yet to go to court.
Read more: Proud Boys leader, members charged with seditious conspiracy