January 6, 2021 insurrection on U.S. Capitol

‘You Sir, Present An Ongoing Threat and Peril To This Country’

“You sir, present an ongoing threat and a peril to this country, to the republic and the very fabric of our democracy.” Judge Amit P. Mehta

Judge Mehta’s comments came as he sentenced Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes to 18 years in prison for seditious conspiracy in the MAGA attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

From the Washington Post:

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes was sentenced to 18 years in prison Thursday in the first punishment to be handed down for seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

The sentence is the longest given to any of the hundreds of people found guilty of involvement in the pro-Trump riot.

“You sir, present an ongoing threat and a peril to this country, to the republic and the very fabric of our democracy,” Judge Amit P. Mehta told Rhodes.

The judge said he had never before expressed such a belief about a defendant appearing in his court. He described Rhodes, who founded his far-right, anti-government group in 2009, as a disturbingly charismatic figure who manipulated dozens of his followers into coming to Washington on Jan. 6, 2021.

“They too are victims, victims of the lies, the propaganda, the rhetoric and ultimately the intention that you conveyed,” Mehta said.

Noting that Rhodes has continued to spread conspiracy theories and violent rhetoric in interviews from behind bars, Mehta predicted, “The moment you are released you will be prepared to take up arms against your government.”

Sentencing continues today for other Oath Keepers who participated in the U.S. Capitol attack on January 6, 2021.

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