Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, the Jan. 6 insurrectionist convicted of sedition last December, was sentenced to 18 years in prison today.
The 57-year-old instigator had helped plan the Capitol riots and was the first person involved with the insurrection to be "sentenced for seditious conspiracy," according to ABCNews10. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta told Rhodes that he was a threat to the U.S. who "wants democracy in this country to devolve into violence."
"The moment you are released, whenever that may be, you will be ready to take up arms against your government," The judge said, via ABC.
After his conviction last year, his wife had she was "beyond happy," and explained, "He has absolutely never had to face a consequence in his entire life. This will be the very first time … He's spent his life making others pay. This was past due for him." She must be rejoicing at today's good news.
The founder of the Oath Keepers extremist group was sentenced Thursday to 18 years in prison for orchestrating a weekslong plot that culminated in his followers attacking the U.S. Capitol in a bid to keep President Joe Biden out of the White House after the 2020 election.
It was one of the most consequential cases brought by the Justice Department, which has sought to prove that the riot by right-wing extremists like the Oath Keepers was not a spur-of-the-moment protest but the culmination of weeks of plotting to overturn Biden's election victory.
Prosecutors had sought 25 years for Rhodes, who they say was the architect of a plot to forcibly disrupt the transfer of presidential power that included "quick reaction force" teams at a Virginia hotel to ferry weapons into D.C. if they were needed. The weapons were never deployed.
In remarks shortly before the judge handed down the sentence, Rhodes slammed the prosecution as politically motivated, noted that he never went inside the Capitol and insisted he never told anyone else to do so. …
In a first for a Jan. 6 case, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta agreed with prosecutors to apply enhanced penalties for "terrorism," under the argument that the Oath Keepers sought to influence the government through "intimidation or coercion." Judges in previous sentencings had shot down the Justice Department's request for the so-called "terrorism enhancement" — which can lead to a longer prison term — but Mehta said it fits in Rhodes' case.
Image: Stewart Rhodes / mugshot