The replacement indictment, returned by a grand jury on Wednesday, adds a second prong by which prosecutors can ask a jury to find Rhodes and the accused co-conspirators guilty at a trial scheduled for September 26. The charging documents allege the group coordinated travel, equipment and concealed firearms and weapons outside of Washington, ready “to answer Rhodes’ call to take up arms at the direction of of Rhodes”.
The new indictment does not allege new facts, but gives the Justice Department more leeway to prove a violation of the historically rare Civil War-era indictment in this case. It also aligns the charge filed against the Oath Keepers group of Rhodes with a seditious conspiracy charge against five leaders of a second far-right group with a history of violence, the Proud Boys and its former president, Henry “Enrique” Tarrio.
The action came as the Justice Department continued to move to indict others linked to the Oath Keepers. in the violence that disrupted Congress’ certification of electoral college votes, with Jeremy Brown – a retired special forces soldier and former congressional candidate from Florida who said he joined the Oath Keepers to prepare them for war civil – saying in court on Thursday that he also expects to be charged with conspiracy soon.
“They’re building a case by adding me to the seditious conspiracy case,” said Brown, who was arrested in September for misdemeanors in Washington of trespassing and disorderly conduct on restricted Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, and also indicted federal felony charges in Florida. possession of unregistered explosive grenades, firearms, 8,000 rounds and classified documents at his home in Tampa.
The documents, dating from 2004 and 2005, reportedly relate to improvised explosive devices and threat frequency reports from Afghanistan, abbreviated operation orders and test procedures for remotely controlled “spider” explosives. “, according to court documents.
Brown, who is representing himself with a court-appointed standby attorney and two pro bono attorneys, observed that four federal prosecutors assigned to the Rhodes case recently joined his Jan. 6 case, saying, “Only one fool believes the government would need five prosecutors to prosecute a two-misdemeanor case.
Oath Keepers Founder Stewart Rhodes Charged With Seditious Conspiracy During Jan. 6 Capitol Riot
Assistant United States Attorney Louis J. Manzo told U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta, who is overseeing Brown’s and Rhodes’ cases, that he did not know he expected Brown be added to the Oath Keepers’ two main conspiracy cases “in the immediate future”. Brown is tentatively scheduled to stand trial in August in Florida and has pleaded not guilty in both cases.
Oath Keepers’ latest indictment on Thursday dropped charges against two co-defendants who have since pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate in exchange for leniency at sentencing – Joshua James, 34, d ‘Arab, Alabama, and Brian Ulrich, 44, of Guyton, Georgia.
He also added an allegation that Rhodes aided and abetted the destruction of evidence two days after the Capitol breach by encouraging the co-conspirators to delete media, files and communications showing their involvement.
In plea documents, cooperating defendants of the Oathkeepers admitted to being part of a group that forced entry through the doors of the rotunda after walking in single file in a pile on the steps wearing life vests. camouflage, helmets, goggles and insignia of the oath keepers. They acknowledged that some had brought guns to Washington that had been previously hidden in a Ballston hotel and another in Vienna.
Rhodes and the remaining co-defendants pleaded not guilty, and Rhodes, in an interview with The Washington Post in March 2021, said there were no plans to breach the Capitol. He said the group had staged guns in northern Virginia in case it was needed as a ‘quick reaction force’ if Trump invoked the Insurrection Act and mobilized armed militias to hold on. in power.
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The attack on the Capitol came after a rally outside the White House, during which Trump urged his supporters to go to Congress. Rioters injured dozens of police officers and ransacked Capitol offices, halting proceedings as lawmakers were evacuated from the House floor.