Sedition conviction proves gravity of Jan. 6 insurrection

Stewart Rhodes, leader of the Oath Keepers militia, and one of his subordinates were convicted on Tuesday of seditious conspiracy for their role in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The conviction provides clear evidence that the riot that broke out in Washington that day was not just an exercise in freedom of speech or a tour group gone wrong. The a mob of far-right supporters of Donald Trump broke into the Capitol in an attempt to prevent Congress from approving the results of the 2020 presidential election. The mob wanted to thwart the will of the voters and keep Trump in office.

The Oath Keepers and other far-right groups came to Washington on Jan. 6 at the behest of Trump, and they came ready to impose their will. They roamed the halls of Congress searching for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence. If they had found them, who knows what kind of standoff might have taken place.

A congressional committee continues to work on its investigation of the event, an investigation that the Republican leadership in Congress has refused to participate in, deriding it as a political ploy.

The verdict against Rhodes gives the lie to that resistance. This was an organized attack on the government of the United States, and deserves to be treated as such.


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