A kept oath too many

Found guilty.

A federal jury on Tuesday convicted Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes of seditious conspiracy for leading a months-long plot to unleash political violence to prevent the inauguration of President Biden, culminating in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

The panel of seven men and five women deliberated for three days before finding Rhodes and a co-defendant guilty of conspiring to oppose by force the lawful transition of presidential power. Rhodes and all four co-defendants on trial were also convicted of obstructing Congress as it met to confirm the results of the 2020 election. Both offenses are punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

The indictment brought against Rhodes, 56, and other Oath Keepers associates in January was the first time the U.S. government leveled the historically rare charge of seditious conspiracy in the massiveJan. 6 investigation. He is the highest-profile figure to face trial in connection with rioting by angry Trump supporters who injured scores of officers and ransacked offices, forcing the evacuation of lawmakers.

Rhodes and followers, dressed in combat-style gear, converged on the Capitol after staging an “arsenal” of weapons at nearby hotels, ready to take up arms at Rhodes’s direction, the government charged. Rhodes’s defense said he and co-defendants came to Washington as bodyguards and peacekeepers, bringing firearms only in case Trump met their demand to mobilize private militia to stop Biden from becoming president.

Oh is that all. How is that a defense? They’re not allowed to mobilize private militia to stop Biden from becoming president. That’s a no-no. It’s not permitted; it is forbidden. Not ok, not cool, not high spirits. No no no no no bad citizen, bad, bad, leave it.

The Justice Department arrested Rhodes in January and Tarrio in June after an internal debate over whether the magnitude and organization behind the Capitol attack merited bringing rarely used seditious conspiracy charges. Bringing the politically charged count posed a higher risk at trial because it required that prosecutors prove the defendants harbored an intent to forcibly oppose the federal government, compared to the charge of conspiring to obstruct a proceeding of Congress, which is punishable by the same 20-year maximum prison term.

I’m hoping Trump’s head explodes. Very literally.

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