The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed the guilty verdict in the trial of Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes who was charged with seditious conspiracy and other offenses in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol.
“Today’s guilty verdicts for Stewart Rhodes and other Oath Keepers who played a key role in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol sends an indisputable message that extremism does not pay and that you cannot undermine American democracy,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said on Tuesday.
“As the leader of one of the largest right-wing anti-government extremist groups, Rhodes has proved a grave threat to our democracy and to us all. In particular, the fact that the jury found Rhodes guilty of seditious conspiracy – a difficult charge to prove – shows the tremendous weight of evidence against him,” he added.
Greenblatt described Rhodes’ conviction as “sending a strong message” that anti-government threats by militia groups will be met with harsh legal consequences.
“This conviction sends a strong message that attempts to undermine our democracy will not be tolerated and serves as a crushing blow to one of America's largest militia groups,” he said.
A federal jury in Washington on Tuesday found Rhodes and Kelly Meggs, another member of the Oath Keepers, guilty of seditious conspiracy in connection with the January 6 attack on the Capitol, NBC News reported.
Three other members of the group who were on trial alongside Rhodes and Meggs – Jessica Watkins, Kenneth Harrelson and Thomas Caldwell – were found not guilty on the seditious conspiracy charge, according to the report.
All five defendants were found guilty of obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting for their actions on Jan. 6.
The seditious conspiracy case is the most serious to grow out of the Justice Department's investigation into the US Capitol attack.
The ADL is also currently serving as co-counsel in a federal lawsuit by the District of Columbia against the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers for their alleged role in planning and carrying out the January 6 Capitol riots.