Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the far-right paramilitary group Oath Keepers, was sentenced Thursday to 18 years in prison for plotting to attack the US Capitol, the most severe sentence for the January 6, 2021 attack.
“Subversive conspiracy is one of the most serious crimes an American can commit,” Judge Amit Mehta said in announcing the sentencing.
“You are a constant threat and danger to this country,” said Mehta in Rhodes, who led the Oath Keepers and participated in a shooting attack on the Capitol by supporters of the then president. , Donald Trump.
“You’re smart, charismatic and persuasive, so frankly you’re dangerous,” Mehta said, dismissing Rhodes’ claim that he was a “political prisoner.”
The sentence was less than the 25 years the government had sought, although Mehta accepted the argument that the Oath Keepers’ plan to violently prevent Joe Biden from becoming president amounted to terrorism.
Just before sentencing, Mr. Rhodes, dressed in an eye patch and an orange prison jumpsuit, brazenly defended his group and its actions on behalf of Mr. Trump.
“I am a political prisoner,” he said, comparing himself to notorious Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn. “My only crime is to oppose those who destroy our country.”
Source: The Delfi