Salem Radio Network News Wednesday, May 18, 2022

U.S.

Oath Keepers founder Rhodes to seek release ahead of U.S. sedition trial

By Jan Wolfe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. prosecutors on Monday will argue that Stewart Rhodes, founder of the far-right Oath Keepers, should remain in custody while he awaits trial on seditious conspiracy https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-built-textbook-case-sedition-charges-capitol-attack-legal-experts-2022-01-14 charges for his alleged role in the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

Rhodes will have a detention hearing at 10:00 a.m. CST (1600 GMT) before a judge in federal court in Plano, Texas.

An indictment made public earlier this month accused Rhodes and 10 associates or members of the group of plotting to storm the Capitol by force in a failed bid to block Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.

Rhodes, 56, is the most high-profile defendant of more than 725 charged so far for taking part in the attack on the Capitol by former President Donald Trump’s supporters. The riot was fueled by Trump’s false claims that his election defeat was the result of fraud.

Rhodes and his associates are the first people charged with seditious conspiracy for their alleged roles in the attack. That seldom-used charge can carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors said that Rhodes told his supporters beginning in November 2020 to prepare to “oppose by force the lawful transfer of presidential power https://www.reuters.com/world/us/a-bloody-desperate-fight-us-prosecutors-release-oath-keepers-communications-2022-01-13.”

“We aren’t getting through this without a civil war,” he said in a message two days after the election. “Too late for that. Prepare your mind body, spirit.”

James Lee Bright, a lawyer for Rhodes, told reporters on Jan. 14 that Rhodes intends to fight the charges.

Bright said he would seek Rhodes’ release while he awaits trial, arguing that his client is not dangerous and will not flee the country.

“He has no reason to flee. He has no passport. He has nowhere to go,” Bright said.

(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Additional reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Scott Malone and Andrea Ricci)

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