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‘Armed rebellion’: Trumpist militia leader who stormed Capitol is accused of sedition

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This is the first trial in over a decade against an American extremist group for crimes of this kind. In this case, the leadership of the Oath Keepers has been accused of trying to coerce Congress from confirming the victory of President Joe Biden in the 2019 presidential election.

Sedition trial of five members of far-right group Oathkeepers Beginning on Monday, prosecutors accused a large-scale armed attack on 6 January 2021. Houses of Parliament and keep protecting donald trump at the White House.

Justice Department attorney Jeffrey Nessler said the group’s founders stewart rhodes A former military man known for his black eye patch and fiery tirade, he knew exactly what he was doing when he led members of the militia to seats in the United States Congress.

Nestler showed a video of the violent takeover of the Capitol by dozens of group members in combat uniforms, pointing out that Rhodes had commanded them. “Like a general on the battlefield”, Lawmakers sought to prove victory for Trump’s rival Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

On January 6, Nessler said that the Orth Keepers “planned an armed rebellion…to oppose the United States government forcibly.”

“They didn’t go to the capital to defend or help. They went on the offensive.” hold.

However, Rhodes’ attorney, Philip Linder, said Rhodes, a renowned Yale law graduate, was “extremely patriotic” and an “expert on constitutional law.”

He said the Oath Keepers went to Washington to secure Trump’s speech and other Trump events that day. “The Oath Keepers are mostly peacekeepers,” he added.

“There was no violent intent on Stewart Rose that day,” he claimed. He said the Oathkeepers had created a “rapid response force” armed that day in case it was needed, and that it would have been “defensive” if Trump had called them.

“Legal Cover”

Rhodes is put on trial along with four local leaders of his militia.

His lawyer said in court papers that he did not want to overthrow the government, They expected Trump to declare a state of riot under a law of 1807 that authorizes the President of the United States to mobilize certain armed forces in exceptional circumstances.

But for Justice Department attorneys, the argument is nothing more than a strategy by Rhodes to protect himself.

“What Rose said about the Insurrection Act was a legal cover,” Nestler said.

However, Rhodes himself said the only thing he regretted was “not bringing a rifle” that day.

“My only regret is that they (the group) should have brought the rifles. It was ‘settled on the spot’.”

In another recording, Rhodes is heard conceding that appealing the Insurrection Act is a way of giving “legal scope” to these illegal acts.

hundreds of detainees

There are already several members of the Oath Keepers who have acknowledged these connections at previous hearings and trials, with Kellye SoRelle saying she contacted former White House adviser Andrew Giuliani — son of Rudy Giuliani — or William Todd Wilson. clarified. How Rhodes “repeatedly begged” Trump to contact him and let him know that he was ready to stop the peaceful office relocation.

Since the Capitol riots, more than 870 people have been arrested and nearly 100 have been sentenced to prison, including perpetrators of violence against police. But so far, no one has had to face condemnation. “agitation”.

Rhodes, Kelly Meggs, Thomas Caldwell, Jessica Watkins, Kenneth Harrelson They are the first to be tried on this charge stemming from a law passed to suppress the last remaining rebels in the South after the Civil War.

A sentence of 20 years in prison means planning to use force to overthrow the government or to oppose one of its laws. It differs from riots, which have a more spontaneous character.

According to the indictment, Defendants “conspired to forcibly oppose the lawful transfer of presidential power.”

Specifically, Rhodes is accused of starting amassing an army in November 2020. “We cannot get out of this situation without a civil war.” He wrote them two days after the presidential election with an encrypted message.

Due to the violence unleashed on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2021, the defense said Judge Amit Mehta would move the trial out of Washington on the grounds that residents may be biased against the accused. A jury was selected last week after rejecting the request.

Rhodes lawyers also frequently used terms such as “anti-government,” “organized militia,” “extremist,” “racist,” and “nationalist” to refer to Oathkeepers during trials. Asked the magistrate to ban the use of the term used “white man”.

Source: Biobiochile

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