Oath Keepers Founder Denies Ordering Capitol Breach

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes on Monday testified in his seditious conspiracy trial — a charge that holds a 20-year maximum prison sentence. He claimed that he never ordered members to enter the US Capitol during the Jan. 6 riots, saying it was “stupid" for those who did so.

Oath Keepers Founder Denies Ordering Capitol Breach
Image credit: cnn

Facts

  • Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes on Monday testified in his seditious conspiracy trial — a charge that holds a 20-year maximum prison sentence. He claimed that he never ordered members to enter the US Capitol during the Jan. 6 riots, saying it was “stupid" for those who did so.
  • Rhodes and four other Oath Keepers members — Thomas Caldwell, Kenneth Harrelson, Kelly Meggs, and Jessica Watkins — face charges of organizing an effort to violently prevent the certification of the 2020 election and stockpiling weapons at a nearby hotel.
  • Rhodes, who supported former Pres. Trump's election denial in 2020, testified that he didn’t want Oath Keepers to get involved "in all the nonsense with the Trump supporters" around the Capitol.
  • Prosecutors, who were trying to hold Rhodes responsible for the Oath Keepers’ alleged attack on the building, asked him if as a leader “the buck stops with him.” He replied, “Not when they do something off-mission, I’m not in charge.”
  • The government closed its questioning of Rhodes by asking him if he had regrets, to which he responded that he was upset that law enforcement officers were harmed, and that “anybody who actually did assault a police officer should be prosecuted.”
  • Rhodes’ testimony began last Friday when he challenged prosecutors’ description of the Oath Keepers’ motives on Jan. 6, their depiction as racists, and the idea that the election was “stolen” — clarifying his opinion that he thinks it was “invalid.”

Sources: Wall Street Journal, Reuters, NBC, USA Today, and CBS.

Narratives

  • Pro-Trump narrative, as provided by Newsmax. It would’ve made no sense for Rhodes to order the Oath Keepers to enter the Capitol. After all, he had warned them to avoid the type of attention that would get them persecuted by their political enemies. They were in DC to simply protect a few very important persons, but a couple of rogue members went into the Capitol of their own volition.
  • Democratic narrative, as provided by CNN. Considering prosecutors have been able to use his texts against him, it's absurd that Rhodes is trying to avoid responsibility for what the Oath Keepers did on Jan. 6. In those messages he referred to bringing rifles if Trump wouldn’t call on the military, targeting high-profile officials, and authorizing a "quick reaction force" that was positioned at a nearby hotel.

Predictions