The former leader of the far-right militia Rhodes was found guilty by the court earlier, and announced the amount of the sentence on Thursday. The prosecution asked for 25 years behind bars for him.
“There is no way we can have a group of citizens who, because they don’t like the result of the election and according to which the laws were not followed, instigate a revolution. That is what you have done,” Justice Amit Mehta emphasized in the judgment.
“You are a permanent threat to our democracy”
“I dare say, Mr. Rhodes, and I have never said this to anyone I have condemned, that you are a permanent threat and danger to our democracy and the fabric of this country,” he added.
Members of the right-wing militia face 20 years for the attack on the Capitol
Nor did Rhodes express any remorse, according to the judge. He was already convicted last November of conspiracy in a trial that was a test of the Justice Department’s ability to hold accountable those involved in the January 6 riots. The jury upheld the lawsuit’s arguments that the attack on the Capitol posed a serious threat to American democracy.
Rhodes declared himself a political prisoner
Even before his conviction, Rhodes declared that he was a political prisoner. He promised to continue “exposing the criminality of the regime” even in prison. “Like President Trump, my only crime is standing up to those who are destroying our country,” Rhodes said in court. He also continued Trump’s narrative that the 2020 presidential election was unconstitutional.
Rhodes also reiterated that his followers did not participate in any fighting for the Capitol on January 6. According to him, other people did it. From the group that Rhodes led, 22 people have already been convicted of various crimes. Either by jury or by their own admission. Eight of them were convicted of seditious conspiracy.
Meggs tearfully apologized
Unlike Rhodes, Meggs showed remorse and tearfully apologized in the courtroom, according to CNN. “I am sorry for being involved in an event that has left such a dark mark on our country,” Meggs told the judge, for whom prosecutors had sought 21 years behind bars.
Meggs, who previously pleaded guilty to four other felonies, led a group of Oath Keepers to the Capitol on January 6, 2021, Reuters wrote. The court justified the lighter sentence in his case by saying that Meggs is not as dangerous as Rhodes. “He’s not the same threat as Rhodes. He is not an intellectual or a spiritual leader,” the judge said, according to CNN.
Trump contributed to a recording sung by men imprisoned for the attack on the Capitol
Tags: founder extremist group Oath Keepers prison years attack Capitol