Leader of Oath Keepers to remain in jail as he awaits trial on Jan. 6 charges

Leader of Oath Keepers to remain in jail as he awaits trial on Jan. 6 charges

A federal choose refused Friday to totally free Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes from jail though he awaits trial on rates that he plotted with other customers of his far-correct militia team to attack the U.S. Capitol to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

U.S. District Decide Amit Mehta claimed federal prosecutors have introduced “compelling if not strong” evidence versus Rhodes, who has been the group’s leader given that its 2009 founding. Rhodes poses a “clear and convincing danger” to the community, the choose mentioned throughout a remote listening to.

“His means to talk, arrange are his finest weapons,” Mehta stated, contacting Rhodes an “extremely refined specific.”

Rhodes and 10 other folks connected to the Oath Keepers are the initially to be charged with seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the Capitol. 4 other Oath Keepers defendants charged with seditious conspiracy continue to be jailed pending a trial established for July.

The Jan. 12 indictment also charged Rhodes with obstruction of justice. Prosecutors say he tried out to wipe out electronic evidence of the alleged plot from his cellphone.

Rhodes, 56, has been detained in federal custody because his arrest in Small Elm, Texas, a working day immediately after his indictment. On Jan. 26, a federal magistrate decide in Plano, Texas, ordered him jailed pending trial. Rhodes’ lawyers requested Mehta to overturn that selection, but the choose rejected the ask for.

Prosecutors say Rhodes orchestrated the group’s assault on the Capitol with backup from an armed “quick reaction drive,” or “QRF,” stationed at a Comfort and ease Inn just throughout the river in Arlington, Va. The QRF was designed up of Oath Keepers customers from Arizona, Florida and North Carolina and stayed in call with Rhodes through the attack, in accordance to prosecutors.

“The QRF groups guarded an arsenal of firearms and related devices and have been organized to velocity those weapons into the arms of co-conspirators on the ground in Washington when directed by Rhodes or other conspiracy leaders,” prosecutors wrote in a courtroom submitting.

Rhodes’ legal professionals explained the QRF as a defensive pressure, “called if and only if expected to protect customers or these with whom they have been charged with safeguarding,” they wrote in a submitting.

The indictment also alleges that two groups of Oath Keepers formed navy-type “stacks” as they stormed and entered the Capitol.

During a hearing Wednesday, the decide asked a prosecutor why authorities consider the Oath Keepers didn’t activate a QRF workforce. Assistant U.S. Atty. Kathryn Rakoczy mentioned they didn’t require to simply because group associates experienced breached the Capitol without having it.

Rakoczy referred to Rhodes as the “architect” of the plot. 1 of Rhodes’ lawyers, James Brilliant, mentioned no these types of plot existed.

“There was no conspiracy to overthrow the government,” Brilliant advised the choose. “There absolutely was an great total of bombastic language that was included.”

Rhodes expended extra than $15,000 on firearms and linked machines in the week before the Capitol riot and acquired more than $17,000 in more firearms-similar devices involving Jan. 6 and Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021, according to prosecutors. Mehta stated the quantity and timing of those people gun purchases is not steady with somebody obtaining them for self-protection.

Rhodes’ lawyers claimed he does not pose a danger to the community or a flight threat. He voluntarily met with FBI brokers a number of times soon after Jan. 6 and gave them his phone, they mentioned.

Rhodes’ attorneys say Oath Keepers thought that Donald Trump would be invoking the Insurrection Act on Jan. 6, “necessitating a require for militias and other teams to defend that declaration.”

“When that did not transpire, Rhodes and other folks took no motion. They left the Capitol grounds and went to dinner,” the protection attorneys wrote.

Oath Keepers also delivered security for longtime Trump backer Roger Stone and other folks in Washington that day, according to Rhodes’ lawyers.

The Dwelling committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection sought testimony from Rhodes when he appeared remotely in advance of the panel from jail this thirty day period.

Rhodes is a Yale Law School graduate and navy veteran. He was residing in Granbury, Texas, immediately after the Capitol riot and has been held at a county jail in Bonham, Texas, because his arrest.

“Rhodes applied his lawful and military training to lead an attack on our core democratic traditions, and purposefully recruited other people with equivalent armed forces and legislation enforcement practical experience to be part of the battle,” prosecutors wrote.

Ferne Dekker

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