Insurrection Equals Seditious Conspiracy on January 6

I have had an ongoing debate with some MetroNews Talkline listeners during the last year over how to identify the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.  I quickly settled on the term “insurrection.”

The Merriam-Webster definition of the word is, “An act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government.”  If storming the Capitol to stop the peaceful transfer of power is not precisely that, then I don’t know what is.

However, the consistent pushback has been that no one had been criminally charged with insurrection, and that was true… until now.

A federal grand jury has indicted Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and 10 of his compatriots on charges of seditious conspiracy, which is an insurrection. The indictment accuses the suspects of engaging in a conspiracy “to oppose the lawful transfer of presidential power by force.”

(You can read the indictment here.)

It is important to note that an indictment is only an allegation, and the defendants enjoy the presumption of innocence. Prosecutors will have to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Rhodes and his alleged co-conspirators were intent on using force to keep Congress from certifying the results of the election.

According to the indictment, federal investigators have a significant body of evidence based on communications by Rhodes and others leading up to, and even after, January 6.

“We aren’t getting though this without a civil war,” Rhodes messaged fellow Oath Keeper leaders on November 5.  “Prepare your mind, body, spirit.” He later posted a “plan of action.”

According to the indictment, “On December 22, 2020, in interview with regional Oath Keepers leaders, Rhodes said that if President-elect Biden were able to assume the presidency, “We will have to do a bloody, massively bloody revolution against them. That’s what’s going to have to happen.”

According to investigators, what followed was an organized effort to rally Oath Keepers from around the country to gather and bring to the Capitol “paramilitary gear, weapons and supplies—including knives, batons, camouflaged combat uniforms, tactical vests with plates, helmets, eye protection, and radio equipment.”

The charges include allegations the Oath Keepers established “quick reaction force” teams at locations near the Capitol as staging areas for additional manpower, guns, ammunition and supplies.

On the 6th, two organized groups of Oath Keepers called “stacks” were among those who entered the Capitol, although Rhodes did not.   Several of the Oath Keepers are charged with assaulting police officers, destroying government property and tampering with documents or official proceedings.

Incredibly, according to the formal accusation, the Oath Keepers planned to come back for more the following day. “Throughout the evening of January 6, 2021, the co-conspirators discussed the need to continue fighting to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power.”

Oath Keeper Edward Vallejo messaged, “We’ll be back (at) 6am to do it again. We’ve got food for 30 days. We have only (begun) to fight.” Rhodes messaged, “Patriots entering their own Capitol to send a message to the traitors is NOTHING compared to what’s coming.”

Fortunately, what followed was not the Oath Keepers’ perverse interpretation of patriotism.  Instead, the country abided by the rule of law in the transference of presidential power and the enforcement of the law for individuals who attempted to obstruct that process by way of seditious conspiracy.




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