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Four Oath Keepers Guilty Of 'Seditious Conspiracy' On Jan. 6

A Washington, D.C., federal jury found four Oath Keepers members guilty of seditious conspiracy in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. The verdict on Monday came nearly two months after Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and another member of the militia group, Kelly Meggs, were convicted of seditious conspiracy, a rarely used charge with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. In the earlier trial, three other members of the Oath Keepers were found guilty of lesser charges, says the Wall Street Journal. In the latest trial, federal prosecutors secured convictions against Edward Vallejo, Roberto Minuta, Joseph Hackett and David Moerschel. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta ordered home detention for the defendants until their sentencings.

The jury reached its verdict as five members of the Proud Boys, another far-right group, are facing trial on seditious conspiracy charges. For the Justice Department, the seditious-conspiracy trials have carried both legal and symbolic significance amid hundreds of prosecuutions stemming from the assault on the Capitol. Prosecutors argued that the Capitol assault resulted in part from a deliberate plan to prevent the peaceful transfer of power from former President Trump to President Biden following the 2020 election. DOJ has charged more than 900 people, extracting guilty pleas from at least 450 of them on crimes ranging from unlawfully parading in a Capitol building to assault, obstruction and sedition. More than 180 rioters have been sentenced to prison time. The Justice Department alleged that Oath Keepers entered the Capitol in “stack formation,” a single-file military tactic, and that some clashed with law enforcement. Prosecutors accused the members of stationing equipment and weapons outside Washington that day and planning to ferry them into the city to support the group’s operations, though they didn’t do so. Lawyers for the Oath Keepers said the case was built on cherry-picked messages and social-media posts, which they said were taken out of context.

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