The leader and founder of Oath Keepers, one of the most important far-right organizations in the US, was arrested on Thursday for his involvement in the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, the US Department of Justice has announced.
Stewart Rhodes, 56, and ten other militia members, have been charged with seditious conspiracy and four other charges, the ministry said in a statement. Specifically, the leader of the civilian militia is suspected of a plot that aimed to incite people to revolt against the state. Rhodes is also said to have been present at the Capitol last year. There, he reportedly communicated with members of his team via his cell phone and a chat app.
Rhodes has always stated that he has not been to the parliament building himself. He has also consistently denied in the media that he is to blame. He allegedly tried to keep members of his group “out of trouble”. According to him, supporters who nevertheless entered the parliament building did so on their own initiative.
Just over a year ago, supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in Washington. They wanted to prevent parliament from approving the election victory of Democrat Joe Biden. There were several deaths.