US Arrests Leader of Oath Keepers Group in January 6 Investigation - Justice Dept.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US law enforcement has arrested the Stewart Rhodes, leader of the right-wing group Oath Keepers, after charging him and 11 other defendants with seditious conspiracy as well as with other crimes related to the events at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, the Justice Department said on 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.
The indictment alleges that the Oath Keepers are a loosely organized collection of individuals, some of whom with militia associations, the release said. The group focuses on recruiting current and former military, law enforcement and first-responder personnel, it added.
The Justice Department explained in the release that Rhodes and the other defendants are alleged to have conspired through a variety of manners and means - including organizing into teams that were prepared and willing to use force - to prevent the certification of the 2020 presidential election results on January 6.
The seditious conspiracy charges carry a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison should the defendants be found guilty of the alleged crimes, the release said.
More than 725 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 US states for crimes related to the breach of the US Capitol on January 6 and investigations remain ongoing, the release added.