Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers has been sentenced to 18 years behind bars on Thursday after being found guilty of seditious conspiracy conviction relating to January 6th. It is the longest sentence given to anyone involved in the January 6 riot. Rhodes is also the first to be convicted of seditious conspiracy and he is considered to be one of the main architects of the riot which saw the Capitol stormed. Prosecutors even say Rhodes had a plan that included quick reaction teams stationed at Virginia hotels who would bring guns into Washington D.C. if called upon. These teams were never called into action.
U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta spoke to Rhodes directly before handing out the conviction:
“Mr. Rhodes, you have been convicted of seditious conspiracy. You’re a lawyer. You understand what that means. Among the most serious crimes an individual American can commit… an offense against the people of our country.”
“And what was the motive? You didn’t like the new guy,” Mehta said, noting that “just because someone supported the former president doesn’t mean they’re a White nationalist.”
“Your only regret was you thought you should have brought the weapons, and if you had, you would have hung Nancy Pelosi from a lamppost. The moment you are released, whenever that may be, you will be ready to take up arms against your government.”
“What we absolutely cannot have is a group of citizens… prepared to take up arms in order to foment a revolution, and that’s what you did.”
Rhodes slammed the sentence as politically motivated and pointing out that he never entered the Capitol.