Home World Assault on the Capitol: eighteen years in prison for far-right leader Stewart...

Assault on the Capitol: eighteen years in prison for far-right leader Stewart Rhodes

Assault on the Capitol: eighteen years in prison for far-right leader Stewart Rhodes

It is the highest sentence to date linked to the storming of the Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump. One of the figures of the American far right, Stewart Rhodes, was sentenced Thursday, May 25 to 18 years in prison for “sedition”. The founder of the “Oath Keepers” militia adopted a defiant posture until the end: “I am a political prisoner”, “my only crime is to oppose those who destroy our country”he launched just before being fixed on his sentence.

Federal Judge Amit Mehta curtly put him in his place: “You are NOT a political prisoner, Mr Rhodes”he said. “You are here because twelve jurors (…) found you guilty of sedition”, “one of the most serious crimes an American can commit”. This leader, who involves having planned the use of force against the government, is liable to 20 years in prison. But the prosecutors had requested 25 years against Stewart Rhodes, relying on a device which allows to raise the sentences for acts of a “terrorist” nature.

“You represent a persistent threat”

Without completely following them, Judge Mehta endorsed their analysis on this point. “Acts of intimidation or coercion which are intended to weigh on the government” fall into this category, he said. He also justified the severity of the sentence by the leadership role of Stewart Rhodes, a 58-year-old ex-serviceman, and his lack of remorse. “You represent a persistent threat and danger to the country”asserted the magistrate.

On January 6, 2021, thousands of supporters of Donald Trump had sown chaos and violence in the seat of Congress, when elected officials certified the victory of his rival Joe Biden in the presidential election. Stewart Rhodes, known for his black eye patch and fiery rants, had remained outside the Capitol, but, according to the prosecution, he had led his troops by radio “like a general on the battlefield”.

The sprawling investigation that followed resulted in the arrest of more than 1,000 people. Nearly 300 received prison sentences, the heaviest of which so far was 14 years. But only ten activists from far-right groups – six members of the ‘Oath Keepers’ and four ‘Proud Boys’ – have been found guilty of “sedition” after three separate trials in Washington.

No Comments

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Exit mobile version