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Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes charged with seditious conspiracy in Jan. 6 Capitol riot

• By Spencer S. Hsu and Devlin Barrett

Stewart Rhodes — founder and leader of the extremist group Oath Keepers — was arrested Thursday on a charge of seditious conspiracy, accused of guiding a months-long effort to unleash politically motivated violence to prevent the swearing-in of President Biden that culminated in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The 56-year-old, who was at the Capitol that day but has said he did not enter the building, is the most high-profile person charged in the investigation so far. The indictment filed against Rhodes and 10 other Oath Keepers or associates marks the first time the historically rare charge of seditious conspiracy has been leveled in connection with the wide-ranging Jan. 6 probe.

"Rhodes and certain co-conspirators ... planned to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power by January 20, 2021, which included multiple ways to deploy force," the indictment reads. "They coordinated travel across the country to enter Washington, D.C., equipped themselves with a variety of weapons, donned combat and tactical gear, and were prepared to answer Rhodes' call to take up arms at Rhodes' direction."

Stewart Rhodes — founder and leader of the extremist group Oath Keepers — was arrested Thursday on a charge of seditious conspiracy, accused of guiding a months-long effort to unleash politically motivated violence to prevent the swearing-in of President Biden that culminated in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The 56-year-old, who was at the Capitol that day but has said he did not enter the building, is the most high-profile person charged in the investigation so far. The indictment filed against Rhodes and 10 other Oath Keepers or associates marks the first time the historically rare charge of seditious conspiracy has been leveled in connection with the wide-ranging Jan. 6 probe.

"Rhodes and certain co-conspirators ... planned to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power by January 20, 2021, which included multiple ways to deploy force," the indictment reads. "They coordinated travel across the country to enter Washington, D.C., equipped themselves with a variety of weapons, donned combat and tactical gear, and were prepared to answer Rhodes' call to take up arms at Rhodes' direction."


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