Jan 13, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Oath Keepers leader indicted on charges related to Jan. 6

Picture of Stewart Rhodes

Stewart Rhodes. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

Stewart Rhodes, a founder and leader of the far-right Oath Keepers militia, has been arrested and charged in connection with events leading up to and including the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

Why it matters: Rhodes is the most prominent figure arrested on charges related to the Capitol insurrection.

State of play: Rhodes, along with 10 other defendants, was charged with seditious conspiracy.

  • The indictment alleges that following the 2020 presidential election, Rhodes "conspired with his co-defendants and others to oppose by force the execution of the laws governing the transfer of presidential power by Jan. 20, 2021."

Details: Rhodes and co-conspirators allegedly began communicating via encrypted apps in December 2020, when they planned to travel to Washington, D.C., "on or around Jan. 6, 2021," per the DOJ. They made plans to bring weapons to the area to support the operation.

  • Rhodes during the riot went to the restricted area of the Capitol grounds and told his followers to meet him at the Capitol.
  • Oath Keeper members and other affiliates then marched "in a 'stack' formation," joined the mob and made their way into the Capitol. Another group then joined in the same formation.
  • Other groups were stationed outside the city in "quick reaction force" teams prepared to quickly bring guns and other weapons into D.C. to support operations to stop the presidential transition of power, per the indictment.

Don't forget: Since the Jan. 6 riot, over 725 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for their involvement in the attack.

Go deeper: By the numbers: Jan. 6 one year later

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details throughout.

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