One year after the events of January 6—despite their best efforts—federal prosecutors still hadn’t filed a single criminal charge that came anything close to resembling “insurrection” or domestic terrorism. Democrats and regime media were agitated: How could they continue promoting the four-hour disturbance as an attempted coup if the most prevalent offense charged by the Department of Justice a year later was the petty misdemeanor of “parading” in the Capitol? Even the chief judge for the D.C. district court overseeing each January 6 case had publicly expressed her frustration that the government wasn’t producing harsher indictments against Trump supporters.
So Matthew Graves, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, swooped in to save face. Eleven members of the Oath Keepers, an alleged militia group, were charged on January 12, 2022 with seditious conspiracy for their involvement in the Capitol protest. Elmer “Stewart” Rhodes and 10 others were accused of conspiring “to oppose by force the authority of the Government of the United States, and by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States.” The law the Oath Keepers attempted to stop, Graves claimed, was the “peaceful transfer of power” vested in both the 12th and 20th amendments.
The indictment was preposterous on its face, something only a grand jury seated in the most Democratic city in the country could countenance. None faced a weapons charge, raising the natural question of how a group of military veterans, most suffering various degrees of service-related disabilities, planned to overtake the government “by force” without a single firearm or explosive device. Despite constant talk in the media about the Oath Keepers’ quick reaction force, individuals who brought weapons with them on the drive to Washington left them behind in a Virginia hotel—legally—so as to not violate the city’s strict gun control laws.
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Author: Ruth King
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