Headline RoundupMay 25th, 2023

Oath Keepers Founder Sentenced to 18 Years for Seditious Conspiracy

Summary from AllSides News Team

Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for seditious conspiracy for his actions in the lead up to and during the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021. 

Details: Rhodes’s sentence is the longest yet handed down to an individual involved in the riot. The Department of Justice sought a 25-year sentence, stating in a memo that Rhodes “exploited his vast public influence as the leader of the Oath Keepers and used his talents for manipulation to goad more than twenty other American citizens into using force, intimidation, and violence to seek to impose their preferred result on a U.S. presidential election.” This is also the first Jan. 6 case where the judge agreed to add the “terrorism” label, adding enhanced penalties. Prosecutors cited messages from Rhodes telling members to prepare for “civil war” among others as proof of conspiracy. 

Key Quotes: Announcing the sentence, the federal judge stated, “Mr. Rhodes. You have been convicted of seditious conspiracy. You’re a lawyer. You understand what that means. Among the most serious crimes an individual American can commit … an offense against the people of our country.” Rhodes claims he is a political prisoner, and his lawyer said the blame for the riot should be placed on “Trump, right-wing media, politicians, all the people who spun that narrative.” 

How The Media Covered It: The sentencing was a top story mainly in left-rated outlets on Thursday, but coverage was consistent across the spectrum.

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