Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Stewart Rhodes, Oath Keepers Leader, Is Denied Bail on Sedition Charge

New York Times

Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers militia charged with seditious conspiracy in connection with the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 last year, was denied bail on Wednesday by a federal judge in Texas who said he was a flight risk partly because of the “elaborate escape tunnels” he had installed in his backyard.

Mr. Rhodes, 56, lived in fear of being “picked up by the feds” and bought hundreds of thousands of dollars of razor wire intended for the perimeter of his property in Montana, Judge Kimberly C. Priest Johnson wrote in a 17-page order. Mr. Rhodes, Judge Johnson said, also stashed “unregistered cars in the woods” near his home.

The charges against Mr. Rhodes, who was accused of sedition this month with 10 other members of his group, are part of the most serious criminal case the Justice Department has brought in connection with the Capitol attack. This week, a federal judge in Washington who will oversee the case set a tentative trial for July.

Prosecutors have accused about 275 people of obstructing Congress’s duty to certify the 2020 presidential vote. But they had not previously used a sedition charge, with the legal weight and political overtones it carries in a highly polarized country.

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