Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes and fellow group member Kelly Meggs have been convicted by a Washington, DC, jury of seditious conspiracy for orchestrating a far-reaching plan to stop the peaceful transfer of power after former President Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
Rhodes and Meggs were also convicted of obstructing an official proceeding, along with and three other defendants – Jessica Watkins, Kenneth Harrelson, and Thomas Caldwell, CNN reports.
The guilty verdict in the historic criminal trial following the events of the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol is a win for the Justice Department, which has argued that the violence perpetrated that day by a mob of Trump supporters was more than just a political protest that got out of control — but rather a violent attack on the seat of American democracy and an effort to keep Donald Trump in power by any means necessary.
“This is a really great day for the United States, for the rule of law, for the peaceful transfer of power and making sure that that is protected because that is essentially what was on trial,” CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem said after the verdict.
Michael Fanone, a former Washington, DC, police officer who was injured during the insurrection, said he hopes the guilty verdicts for several members of the Oath Keepers is a “learning tool” for others to recognize the seriousness of the insurrection.
“I would hope that this would serve as a learning tool for many members of Congress and many Americans who don’t believe that Jan. 6 was serious, that it was a serious attack on our democracy,” he told the network.
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