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DOJ charges Oath Keepers founder, 10 others with seditious conspiracy related to Jan. 6 riot

Paul Conner 3-3 minutes 1/13/2022

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The Department of Justice unveiled seditious conspiracy charges against 11 defendants, including the founder and leader of the right-wing Oath Keepers militia group, Elmer Stewart Rhodes III, for their role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

  • Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes speaks during the Patriots Day Free Speech Rally in Berkeley, California, April 15, 2017.  (REUTERS/Jim Urquhart)

  • FILE PHOTO: Jessica Marie Watkins, second from left, and Donovan Ray Crowl, center, both from Ohio, march down the east front steps of the U.S. Capitol with the Oath Keepers militia group among supporters of President Trump in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021. Both have since been indicted by federal authorities for their roles in the siege on the U.S. Capitol.  (REUTERS/Jim Bourg/File Photo/File Photo)

  • FILE - Members of the Oath Keepers militia group, including Jessica Marie Watkins, left, who has since been indicted by federal authorities for her role in the siege on the U.S, Capitol, stand among supporters of President Trump protesting against the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, on the east front steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021.  (REUTERS/Jim Bourg)

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia had previously charged more than 700 people across the country for their alleged participation in the riot, including at least 81 current or former service members, CBS News reported. About 275 of those defendants have been charged with a felony offense of "attempting to corruptly obstruct, influence, or impede" the Electoral College certification.

More than 150 of the defendants have pleaded guilty, and 71 had been sentenced as of Jan. 1, according to Politico. Most of these sentenced Jan. 6 offenders had been convicted of misdemeanors, such as illegally entering the Capitol building, and fewer than half of them have received prison time. The median prison sentence for the Capitol rioters was 45 days, as of Jan. 6, 2022.

Robert Palmer – who admitted to throwing a wooden plank at police outside the Capitol and to spraying a fire extinguisher at officers, then throwing the dempty device at police –  has received the stiffest sentence to date, more than five years in prison.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.