News outlets reported that Stuart Rhodes, a participant in the January 6, 2021 storming of the Capitol, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for “conspiracy to incite insurrection.” The judge agreed with the plaintiffs, who considered that Rhodes inspired the participants in the storming of the Capitol building by using violence, and that his actions fall within the definition of terrorism.
Rhodes, a lawyer, former paratrooper and founder of the far-right group Oath Keepers, is the first person to be convicted of “collusion to sedition”.
Rhodes and 10 other members of his organization were arrested in January. The plaintiffs had encrypted recordings and messages sent to each other by members of the group. They served as evidence that Rhodes and members of his group, shortly after the results of the 2020 presidential election were announced, began preparing an “armed rebellion” to prevent the transfer of power to the new head of state.
“Conspiracy to incite insurrection” is the most serious allegation related to the storming of the Capitol.
The court found the convict to be a “constant threat to the United States”.
During closing speeches, the prosecution drew attention to statements and interviews made by Rhodes, who repeated false allegations of “stealing” the election and calling for “regime change.”
The defense argued that Rhodes was wrongly portrayed as the main figure in the riot and the “face” of the storm. His lawyer said, “If you want to give someone’s face to the events of January 6th, let it be ‘the face of (President – Ed.) Trump, the right-wing media or the politicians, the people who made this narrative.'”
Prior to sentencing, the judge said Rhodes continued to pose a “continuing threat to the United States.” He added that it was clear that he “wants to turn democracy into violence” and that he would be willing to “take up arms against the government” upon his release.
Main image source: Jim Urquhart/Reuters/Forum