Stuart Rhodes, leader of the “Oath Keepers” militia, has just been convicted of seditious conspiracy and sentenced to 18 years in prison. He was charged and convicted of helping organize the pro-Trump Jan. 6, 2021 attack at the nation’s Capitol.
Rhodes was just one of many thugs, self-styled “patriots,” who stormed the Capitol, brutalized police officers and threatened to hang Vice President Mike Pence.
Rhodes is just one of many who have been convicted of crimes for their planning of that attempted insurrection and for their ugly behavior that day. Still more of them are awaiting sentences. There have been 1,000 people charged for their part in that assault.
At Rhodes’ sentencing hearing, Judge Amit P. Mehta said this:
“You, sir (Rhodes) present an ongoing threat and a peril to this country, to the Republic and to the very fabric of our democracy . . . It is conduct that threatened and continues to threaten the rule of law in the United States.”
According to the prosecutors. Rhodes had been calling for attacks against the government for more than 10 years.
It’s hard to believe that this man, who earned a law degree from Yale, could go so wrong.
“I am a political prisoner,” he told the court with an attitude of defiant bravado.
Yes, he’s a political prisoner alright – a prisoner of his own twisted political delusions, like so many others who rioted on that infamous day.
During the trial, many encrypted text messages between Oath Keepers members were used as evidence of their complicity. Rhodes and his followers believed Chinese agents infiltrated the U.S. government and that Joseph Biden was a puppet of the Chinese Communist Party and as President would put this country under control of the United Nations. Oh yeah, sure thing. And did you know that Democrats and movie stars like Tom Hanks are sex-trafficking children and drinking the blood of babies?
It’s about time those who wreaked havoc and violence during that insurrection attempt face justice for their acts. For far too long, there were/are enablers among Republicans in the U.S. Congress who have desperately tried to minimize the actions of thugs on Jan. 6. As if they were all just peaceful protesters taking a touristic stroll through the Capitol hallways.
All Americans should never forget two video clips of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) at the Capitol riot. In the morning, on the Capitol steps, he gave a power salute to the gathering mob. An hour or so later, a video inside the Capitol showed Hawley running like a scared jack rabbit down a hallway, fleeing from the mob’s mayhem.
A warped politics of violence, hatred, intolerance is on the rise. The convictions of those would-be insurrectionists should be a reminder to all Americans that this country should never, ever again tolerate that kind of politically-motivated violence from Far Right or Far Left or anywhere else.
Justice will be served sooner or later, and the Rule of Law must prevail.