Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes has been sentenced to 18 years in prison following his conviction on seditious conspiracy theories for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.
A federal judge delivered the sentence on Thursday. The sentencing represents the longest prison term yet assigned to a figure involved in the riot despite Rhodes not entering the Capitol building that day, according to reports from The Hill.
“He exploited his vast public influence as the leader of the Oath Keepers and used his talents for manipulation to goad more than twenty other American citizens into using force, intimidation, and violence to seek to impose their preferred result on a U.S. presidential election,” the Justice Department wrote in a sentencing memo earlier this month.
Seditious conspiracy carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence, but the Justice Department also sought a terrorism enhancement for Rhodes as well as other Oath Keepers defendants.
Judge Amit Mehta largely sided with the Justice Department, which suggested a 25-year prison sentence for Rhodes. The DOJ largely argued the former Army soldier encouraged other fellow veterans to violate the oaths to defend the Constitution they took when beginning their service.
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