Elmer Stewart Rhodes, leader and founder of the far-right militia group oath keepers, and ten other members or associates have been charged with seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitolthe authorities said.
Rhodes pleaded “not guilty” to the charges and other charges and remained in federal custody Friday. He was arrested by the FBI on January 13 at a house in Little Elm and taken to the Collin County Jail.
In a statement, the U.S. Department of Justice said Mr. Rhodes, 56, of Granbury, Texas, and 63-year-old Edward Vallejo of Phoenix, Arizona, “are being charged for the first time in connection with events leading up to and including 6. January.”
The Justice Department further added that the “sedition conspiracy charge alleges that, following the November 3, 202 presidential election, Mr. Rhodes colluded with his co-defendants and others to forcibly oppose the implementation of the laws enacted.” arrange for the transfer of presidential power by January 20. 2021.”
It said that as of late December 2020, Mr. Rhodes and several “co-conspirators coordinated and planned to travel to Washington, DC, on or about January 6, 2021, the date of the certification of the electoral college vote, it claims.” the charge” through encrypted and private communications applications.
Mr Rhodes and several co-conspirators have reportedly made plans to bring weapons into the area to support the operation, it said. “The conspirators then traveled across the country to the Washington DC metropolitan area in early January 2021.”
“According to the seditious conspiracy charge, the defendants colluded in a variety of ways and means, including: organizing into teams willing and willing to use force and transport firearms and ammunition to Washington DC; recruiting members and affiliates to participate in the conspiracy; organizing training courses to teach and teach paramilitary combat tactics,” the indictment said.
The eleven members of Oath Keepers are also charged with “bringing and contributing paramilitary equipment, weapons and supplies – including knives, batons, camouflaged combat uniforms, tactical vests with plates, helmets, eye protection and radio equipment – to the Capitol; violating and attempting take control of the Capitol Building and build it on Jan. 6, 2021, in an effort to prevent, hinder and delay the certification of the electoral college vote.”
Meanwhile, acting president of the Oath Keepers Kellye SoRelle said “he (Mr. Rhodes) is not guilty of any of the outlandish charges” and the organization is backing him.
James Lee Bright, one of Mr Rhodes’ lawyers, said: “He intends to fight the charges to the end.”