Stewart Rhodes, Oath Keepers commander, sentenced to 18 years for Capitol disturbance.

Stewart Rhodes, the founder of Oath Keepers, was given an 18-year prison term on Thursday and accepted the government’s recommendation for an enhancement for terrorism for his leadership of a seditious plot to obstruct the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory in the election, which culminated in the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

The longest sentence to far given to a defendant charged in connection with the Capitol assault is presently Rhodes’.

In a hearing on January 6, D.C. District Judge Amit Mehta accepted the government’s suggestion to include a terrorism enhancement in Rhodes’ sentence for the first time. Mehta concurred with the prosecution that Rhodes “inspired the use of violence” in his adherents to obstruct the certification and that his acts satisfied the criteria for terrorism designed to influence governmental behavior.

Mehta noted Rhodes’ demands for members to remove incriminating correspondence following the Capitol assault, as well as the arsenal the Oath Keepers had gathered just outside of Washington, D.C. on January 6.

Just before imposing his sentence, Mehta warned Rhodes, “You, sir, present an ongoing threat and peril to this country.”

Rhodes chose to address Mehta before his sentence was announced, insisting on his innocence and referring to himself as a “political prisoner.”

Like President Trump, Rhodes claimed that his sole fault was resisting those who were destroying our nation.

Rhodes assertions that he is a political prisoner were immediately refuted by Mehta in his own statements soon before passing judgment, who stated that Rhodes instead represents a “ongoing threat to this country.”

It has been obvious for years that you wanted our nation’s democracy to turn violent, Mehta said. You aren’t a political prisoner. You’re here as a result of 12 D.C. jurors who judged you not guilty on several counts but convicted of sedition.

People shouldn’t forget that Jan. 6 “could have been a far uglier day,” he said.

Rhodes’ lawyers expressed their displeasure with the sentence upon its imposition, but they also stated that they had anticipated a considerably harsher punishment for their client. This sentence, according to them, should serve as a warning to anyone convicted of sedition.

Before Thursday, a person prosecuted in relation to the events of January 6 could expect a sentence of up to 170 months, or little more than 14 years.

A prosecutor testified in court on Thursday that the Justice Department was seeking a 25-year sentence for Rhodes because a light sentence was not enough “to ensure the respect for the rule of law that is essential to the survival of our democracy.”

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Rakoczy, Rhodes “doggedly drilled in the minds of those on his chats, and those followers of the Oath Keepers the lie of the election fraud, and the false need to act like the Founding Fathers in order to save, in his view, our Constitution and our country.” She pointed to remarks he made just four days prior from jail to a protest gathered outside where he said it would “take regime change” to undo the wrongs being done by the Biden Administration and claimed it was “neither the first time nor the last time that he will seek to organize political violence in our country.”

Rakoczy quoted Rhodes as saying, “It won’t stop until it stops.

In November of last year, Rhodes was found guilty of seditious conspiracy against the United States. A jury determined that he and other group members were mostly responsible for the disruption of Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory certification.

The verdict represented the first successful jury conviction for a seditious plot since 1995.

Rhodes received the Justice Department’s highest-ever recommendation for a defendant charged in connection with Jan. 6: 25 years in prison.

They stated repeatedly that strong sentences for each of the Oath Keepers charged in the conspiracy were required in order to discourage potential future attacks against democracy in their sentencing recommendation to Mehta.

Although three of the gang were exonerated of the most serious accusation of seditious conspiracy, juries in two separate trials found Rhodes and eight of his friends guilty of a variety of serious felonies.

Prosecutors said that Rhodes and his collaborators were prepared to use any means necessary, including force, to prevent the certification. They based their case on a wealth of texts exchanged between the group’s members contemplating “civil war” in the event that Biden were to be elected vice president.

The government said that members of the organization stashed a sizable cache of weapons at a hotel just outside the city limits so that they could be carried into Washington in the event that Trump invoked the Insurrection Act. Prosecutors also provided significant evidence of the group’s preparations prior to Jan. 6.

In private conversations and social media posts, the defendants attacked the administration over unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud.

In remarks made prior to the final delivery of his sentence on Thursday, Rhodes remained defiant.

More than two years after the riots, police officers who protected the Capitol and a Senate assistant who carried the official 2020 election documents testified in court about the ongoing pain they are now experiencing.

Officer Christopher Owens of the D.C. police testified in court that “we were assaulted repeatedly.” He described the violent mob pulling at his police gear and even attempting to remove his firearm on several occasions.

Owens spoke with a heavy heart as he remembered returning home to see his wife crying over his battered and broken body.

We underwent psychological, emotional, and physical suffering, he claimed.

Mehta expressed gratitude to each witness for their insights and government work.

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