Leader of Oath Keepers group arrested in January 6 probe
One year and one week after the January 6 Capitol insurrection, the US Department of Justice arrests the leader of a right-wing militia for ties to the riots aiming to prohibit the certification of the 2020 presidential elections.
US law enforcement has arrested Stewart Rhodes, leader and founder of the right-wing Oath Keepers group in light of a January 6 investigation.
Rhodes, along with 11 other defendants, has been charged with seditious conspiracy and other crimes related to the January 6 capitol riot, the Justice Department said Thursday.
"The seditious conspiracy indictment alleges that, following the Nov. 3, 2020, presidential election, Rhodes conspired with his co-defendants and others to oppose by force the execution of the laws governing the transfer of presidential power by Jan. 20, 2021," the Justice Department said in a press release.
According to the indictment, the Oath Keepers are a loosely organized collection of individuals, some of whom have associations with militias and other armed groups, the release said.
The group's main recruits are current and former military, law enforcement, and first-responder personnel, the statement read.
The DoJ explained that Rhodes and the other defendants were accused to have conspired through various manners and means, including organizing into teams prepared and willing to use force to prevent the certification of President Joe Biden's presidential victory on January 6.
The seditious conspiracy charges could land them a maximum of 20 years of prison time if they are found guilty of the crimes pressed against them.
The investigation into the insurrection that took place on January 6 has so far seen more than 725 individuals from nearly all 50 US states charged with crimes related to breaching the Capitol.
One day before the anniversary of the attacks on the US capitol, the White House announced that President Joe Biden would call out Donald Trump's "singular responsibility" behind the riots.
A US judge had ruled that any White House records that could implicate former President Donald Trump in the January 6 attack on the Capitol be released to the Congressional Committee investigating the insurrection.