The Newsleaders factually reports in their “Our View” editorial that Oath Keeper leader Stuart Rhodes was convicted and sentenced to 18 years in prison for seditious conspiracy. The Newsleaders goes on to describe Rhodes as a thug who stormed the Capitol and brutalized police officers in an attempted insurrection. Sorry Newsleaders, none of that is true.
Nobody has been charged with insurrection for Jan. 6. Some did storm the Capitol, but Rhodes is not one of them. He walked to the Capitol with no weapons and no rope to hang anybody, stopping at a food truck because everyone knows you don’t want to try and overthrow your government on an empty stomach. Rhodes was not charged with laying a hand on anyone and he did not enter the Capitol. Rhodes’ conviction of sedition is the result of a biased D.O.J., overeager prosecutors and a jury that is not very smart or is biased, certainly not a jury of Rhodes’ peers. A sentence of 18 years screams of bias by the Obama-appointed judge. Trump is probably next to receive biased treatment. Ironically, Trump was the guy who wanted to have 10,000 National Guard troops to protect the Capitol that day. Nancy Pelosi said no.
We are free to protest peacefully. Hillary Clinton said in 2003, “We should stand up and say we are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration.” Stuart Rhodes, who seems to be a bit of a blowhard, has that right too. The imprisonment of political enemies is disgraceful. More than half of Republicans question the fairness of the 2020 election. Does that make them guilty of sedition? No. The first amendment protects free speech, even Stuart Rhodes-style bluster. Hopefully Rhodes will win in appeal and be freed, as it must be, anywhere where human rights are respected.