Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes to remain jailed pending trial in Capitol riot case

Susan Walsh/AP
·1 min read

Stewart Rhodes, the founder and leader of the Oath Keepers who was charged with seditious conspiracy in the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, will be held without bail until his trial, according to a decision Wednesday from Federal Magistrate Judge Kimberly C. Priest Johnson.

Johnson, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, cited concerns that his release could endanger others. She said that while Rhodes has a right to peaceably assemble and petition, that’s not what he is accused of doing.

“Here, the Court is not faced with a peaceable assembly and petitioning, as Defendant’s extraordinary actions and the ripple effects that followed are outside the bounds of protected activities,” Johnson wrote in the order to deny bail.

Rhodes was one of 11 members of the Oath Keepers indicted by a federal grand jury on a charge of seditious conspiracy and other charges related to the Capitol attack.

Rhodes was arrested in Little Elm on Jan. 13, according to a Justice Department news release.

According to the indictments, the Oath Keepers are a large but loosely organized collection of individuals, some who are associated with militias. The indictments allege that the Oath Keepers discussed for weeks attempting to overthrow the election results and prepared by buying weapons and setting up plans.

On Jan. 6, the indictment alleges, members of the group entered the Capitol building with the large crowds of rioters who stormed past police barriers and smashed windows, injuring dozens of officers and sending lawmakers running.

While Rhodes did not enter the Capitol building on Jan. 6, he is accused of helping start the violence.

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