Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes received the longest prison sentence to date stemming from the January 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Convicted by a Washington, D.C., jury in November on seditious conspiracy and other charges, the 58-year-old Rhodes was sentenced on Thursday to 18 years behind bars.
“I dare say, Mr. Rhodes – and I never have said this to anyone I have sentenced – you pose an ongoing threat and peril to our democracy and the fabric of this country,” said District Judge Amit Mehta, according to CNN.
The report said prosecutors had sought a 25-year prison sentence.
“This is terrorism,” declared prosecutor Kathryn Rakoczy, who argued for a longer sentence because of “the threat of harm and historic nature of attempting to stop the certification of an election for the first time in American history.”
Rhodes and other members of the Oath Keepers were accused of coordinating what became the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, disrupting lawmakers as they met to certify Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
“I’m a political prisoner, and like President Trump, my only crime is opposing those who are destroying our country,” Rhodes told the judge before being sentenced, per CNN.
He also insisted that no member of the Oath Keepers took part in the actual violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 and argued that defendants are being “grossly overcharged.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE DAILY WIRE APP
Roughly 28 months after the chaos on January 6, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia says more than 1,033 arrests have been made in connection to January 6 and notes some 570 defendants have pleaded guilty, including four to a federal charge of seditious conspiracy.
Former President Donald Trump, who is seeking re-election in 2024, recently said he would likely pardon a large portion of the January 6 defendants if given a second term.
Asked during a CNN town hall whether he would pardon those convicted of seditious conspiracy, he said, “I don’t know. I’ll have to look at their case, but I will say in Washington, D.C., you cannot get a fair trial, you cannot. Just like in New York City, you can’t get a fair trial either.”