US Oath Keepers leader appears in court on seditious conspiracy charges
Oath Keepers’ Lawyer Who Likened Vaccine Mandates to the Holocaust Has Been Disbarred in Virginia
The lawyer for Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and other extremists tied to the Jan. 6 attacks has been disbarred in the commonwealth of Virginia on a slew of professional violations, including candor toward the tribunal, fairness to opposing party, unauthorized practice of law and other misconduct. The post Oath Keepers’ Lawyer Who Likened Vaccine Mandates to the Holocaust Has Been Disbarred in Virginia first appeared on Law & Crime.The lawyer for Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and other extremists tied to the Jan.
As the Justice Department's January 6 investigationwith the use -- for the first time in the Capitol attack prosecutions -- of the seditious conspiracy charge, the founder of the Oath Keepers and another individual facing the charge made their first appearances in court Friday.
The Justice Department on Thursdayagainst Stewart Rhodes and Edward Vallejo, who were arrested Thursday in Texas and Arizona, respectively.
Themade public Thursday also added the charge to the case that nine other defendants were already facing for their alleged involvement in the riot that disrupted Congress' certification of President Joe Biden's election win on January 6, 2021.
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Attorney Jonathon Moseley claimed the Oath Keepers merely "went to the Capitol to provide security" Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. - Demonstrators breeched security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification.
At some point, those defendants will have an arraignment for them to enter their plea to the new seditious conspiracy charge, but those proceedings have not been scheduled yet.
A magistrate judge on Friday scheduled a January 20 detention hearing for Rhodes -- the leader of the far-right Oath Keepers -- during his initial court appearance on Friday and he will remain in custody until then. Rhodes also entered a not guilty plea during his arraignment before his court appearance, according to his lawyers.
Rhodes and his attorneys will appear before the same judge -- Magistrate Judge Kimberly Priest Johnson -- and argue that he shouldn't be detained because he's neither a flight risk, nor a danger to the public. Rhodes' attorneys said after Friday's hearing that they expect to appeal if the judge declines to waive his detention.
Lawmakers suggest Oath Keepers and Proud Boys coordinated Jan. 6 riot: Report
The Jan. 6 committee believes the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys may have worked together to coordinate the assault on the Capitol, according to new reports. Leaders of the groups coordinated efforts to forestall certification of the 2020 election physically, according to evidence the committee uncovered during its investigation that included testimony and video of leaders from the two groups meeting before the riot.
Appearing in Plano, Texas, Rhodes waived his right to have his indictment read in court. The hearing was over in minutes.
Video: See the messages Oath Keepers leader sent to followers (CNN)
At another hearing Friday afternoon before Magistrate Judge Deborah Fine in Phoenix that lasted less than 10 minutes, Vallejo -- who appeared virtually from the Central Arizona Florence Correctional Complex -- was ordered detained until another hearing scheduled for January 20, where his detention pretrial will be further discussed. Coincidentally, that will mark one year after Biden's inauguration.
Vallejo's public defender, Debbie Jang, told the court he intended to plead not guilty to all charges against him, although a formal plea was not requested at Friday's hearing. Vallejo was wheeled up to his videoconference camera strapped into a chair, wearing an orange jumpsuit and black face mask. He told Fine he plans to hire his own attorney as soon as possible but that he has not been able to get in touch with his preferred lawyer yet.
McConnell called Sidney Powell and Lin Wood 'clowns' as they pushed to help Trump overturn the election
Powell made a name for herself by promising to "Release The Kraken" of debunked voter fraud claims."Everybody around him, except for clowns like Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, are trying to get him to do the right thing," McConnell told New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns in an interview for their forthcoming book of efforts to get President Donald Trump to accept that he lost the 2020 election.
Prosecutors accuse Vallejo of transporting weapons and coordinating with Rhodes a so-called quick reaction force team for January 6.
The Justice Department has already argued forcefully for several others in the case already to be held in jail, and prosecutors could even show evidence to the court to convince the judges the men could be dangerous
Those discussions may continue when their cases -- as is expected -- move to DC's federal court, where the other January 6 prosecutions are proceeding.
Rhodes has previously denied wrongdoing.
Prosecutors' decision to bring the charge seditious conspiracy carries symbolic and political weight; the relevant statute dates back to the Civil War-era. But it is also a risk for prosecutors, as use of the charge in the past -- most recently in a 2010 case concerning a militia plot in Michigan -- has faltered under scrutiny from judges.
Attorney General Merrick Garland had been reluctant to bring the charge, CNN previously reported, but prosecutors in the latest indictment were able to show granular details of alleged planning and logistics coordination among the defendants in the lead up to the Capitol attack. Of particular note are the accusations in the new filings that Rhodes, Vallejo and other defendants continued plotting even after the riot to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.
Before the seditious conspiracy charge was brought, a central charge in DOJ's Oath Keeper case was conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding. US District Judge Amit Mehta recently rejected the request by several Oath Keeper defendants that he throw that charge out, and its use has been upheld by other judges presiding over separate January 6 cases.
Several Oath Keepers who do not currently face the seditious conspiracy charge brought by the DOJ Thursday face a conspiracy obstruction charge. That charge, as well as the seditious conspiracy charge, carries a 20-year maximum prison sentence.
Four of those indicted in the DOJ's Oath Keepers' prosecutionswith the government.
This story and headline have been updated with additional developments Friday.
The Feds Just Took the Jan. 6 Cases to a Whole New Level .
Over a year after hordes of MAGA rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral win, federal prosecutors hit a handful of people they portrayed as key perpetrators of the riot with a new charge: seditious conspiracy. Stewart Rhodes, the 56-year-old founder of the Oath Keepers, and ten other affiliates of the far-right military group, were charged Thursday with seditious conspiracy in a superseding indictment after prosecutors said they sought to “oppose by force the execution of the laws governing the transfer of presidential power” from former President Donald Trump to Biden.