Rhodes, the leader of a far-right militia, has been found guilty of plotting to stop US President Joe Biden from taking office after the 2020 election. A jury found Rhodes, the founder of Oath Keepers, guilty of the rare charge of seditious conspiracy following a two-month trial.
said Rhodes plotted an armed rebellion to stop the transfer of power from Donald Trump to Mr Biden. Four more people were on trial with Rhodes related to the 2021 Capitol riots. Three of the group – Jessica Watkins, Kelly Meggs and Kenneth Harrelson – went inside the building during the attack. Meggs was also found guilty of seditious conspiracy on Tuesday. Both Rhodes and Meggs now face a maximum 20 year sentence on the charges.
of the group members – Harrelson, Watkins and Caldwell – were found not guilty of seditious conspiracy. All five of the group members were found guilty of obstruction of an official proceeding. Rhodes, who prosecutors say acted as a “battlefield general” during the riots, was also found guilty of tampering with documents or proceedings. He was acquitted of two other conspiracy counts.
order to be convicted of seditious conspiracy, prosecutors must prove that two or more people conspired to “overthrow, put down or to destroy by force” the US government, or that they planned to use force to oppose US authority. Alan Rozenshtein, a law professor at the University of Minnesota and a former US Department of Justice lawyer, said the conviction of Rhodes is significant because it shows that a seditious conspiracy charge is “a viable and legal path for punishing the most serious anti-democratic conduct” in the country. He added the mixed verdict proves that juries are able to apply the conviction responsibly.