A federal judge has sentenced this Thursday the leader of the extreme right group Oath Keepers (Oathkeepers)Stewart Rhodes, to 18 years in prison for seditious conspiracy and other crimes related to the assault on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. This is the strongest sentence handed down to date against a defendant for this attack, since they consider that he led the conspiracy to try keep former US President Donald Trump in power.

The judge in the case, Amit Mehta, has assured this Thursday in the trial that the crimes committed by Rhodes are equivalent to “domestic terrorism”. “He (referring to Rhodes) was the one giving the orders,” Mehta added, noting that “Oath Keepers wouldn’t have been there (in Washington DC) if it hadn’t been for Stewart Rhodes.”

During the attack, which left 5 dead and more than 140 officers injured, Rhodes remained outside the building supervising the operation, while another of the defendants, Kelly Meggs, led a group of 14 people to the interior of the Capitol, where they divided into two groups of 7, one directed to the Senate and the other to the House of Representatives.

A member of this far-right group confessed at trial last October that his militia was “willing to fight” to keep Donald Trump in office of President of the United States.