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Oath Keepers Planned 'Armed Rebellion' At Capitol, U.S. Says

The founder of the Oath Keepers extremist group and four associates planned an "armed rebellion" to keep President Trump in power, the Associated Press reports. Stewart Rhodes and his band of extremists were prepared to go to war when Joe Biden became president, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Nestler. “Their goal was to stop, by whatever means necessary, the lawful transfer of presidential power, including by taking up arms against the United States government,” the prosecutor told a jury. “They concocted a plan for armed rebellion to shatter a bedrock of American democracy.” The defendants are the first among hundreds of people arrested in the Capital riot to stand trial on seditious conspiracy.


Defense attorneys accused prosecutors for cherry-picking comments from messages and videos, and that the government lacks evidence of a plan to attack the Capital. “Stewart Rhodes meant no harm to the Capitol that day. Stewart Rhodes did not have any violent intent that day,” said Rhodes’ attorney, Phillip Linder. In the Oath Keepers case, prosecutors will try to prove that the group's actions were not a spontaneous outpouring of election-fueled rage, but a drawn-out plot to stop Biden from entering the White House. Nestler said that Rhodes' rhetoric had become increasingly violent and desperate as December approached. In the days between the riot and Biden's inauguration, Rhodes spent more than $17,000 on firearm parts, which were stored at a Virginia hotel for easy access. The trial will last several weeks, and three planned witnesses are members of the Oath Keepers who are looking for lighter sentences.

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