Stewart Rhodes

Stewart Rhodes claims that Oath Keepers from other countries were stupid enough to storm the Capitol on January 6

Stewart Rhodes, the founder of Oath Keepers, told jurors Monday at his seditious conspiracy case that some members of the far-right group who stormed Washington’s Capitol were “off-mission” and insisted that he wasn’t involved in any operation to oppose the federal government.

Rhodes stated that he didn’t know any Oath Keeper thought about going inside or would go inside, during his testimony. This has led to Rhodes being accused in a six-week-long trial. He was joined by Kelly Meggs and Jessica Watkins, who is now on trial.

Hours of testimony saw Rhodes tell jurors that entering the Capitol was stupid because it “opened up the door for our political opponents to persecute me, and that’s exactly what happened, so here we are.”

Watkins, Harrelson, and Meggs entered the Capitol on January 6.

Rhodes stated that he was concerned on Jan. 6 about OathKeepers getting caught up in “all the nonsense with Trump supporters”. He sent Signal an encrypted message asking Oath keepers to meet at a location near the Capitol.

He stated, using a military term for “cluster —.”, that “the goal was to ensure that no one got caught up in that Charlie Foxtrot.”

According to evidence from the government, Rhodes still praised the “patriots” as they stormed the Capitol.

Rhodes stated that they should have brought rifles just days after the Capitol attack. He tried to convince Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act to remain in office and also spoke out about his desire to “hang F—in” Pelosi from the lamppost, evidence proves.

Rhodes began his testimony Friday. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Rakoczy was then able to cross-examine him on Monday.

“You are in charge, right?” Rakoczy questioned the Oath Keepers’ leader.

He replied, “Not when they do anything off-mission. I’m not responsible, unfortunately.”

Tasha Adams was Rhodes’ estranged spouse who filed for divorce in 2018 and stated that Rhodes would “fall apart” on cross-examination.

Adams stated that Adams has never seen Adams face any consequence. He either makes it go away or he would make it difficult for me to deal with it. Now he is there, doing his thing. But it’s after hearing that horrible, terrible audio of the real him. This jury now sees this side of him but must be aware of how false it is in comparison to what they heard.

She said that “His greatest weakness was anyone confronting him about anything, contradicting his views, and him not being capable of immediately shutting it down.”

Rhodes made mistakes in his testimony and even made self-deprecating comments about his weight. He also made light of his relationship with Kellye SoRelle (general counsel to the Oath Keepers), who he blamed when he sent a message to members telling them to delete their communications.

Rhodes stated that he did not believe the Biden administration was legitimate and that the 2020 election was illegal and unconstitutional. He said they might need to fight the government.

His testimony emphasized the fact that the fight would be won later after President Joe Biden was elected.

Rhodes stated, “If he were not to leave, leave office without exposing corruption in our government. Then yes, down the street, we would have no choice but to fight if necessary.”

Rhodes stated that he and Oath Keepers were willing to follow the “founders’ path”, but that conflict can still be avoided today.

He said, “But when you have a government that steps out of the constitution it puts you in an awful place.”

The trial will continue on Tuesday when Rhodes’ defense team will summon additional witnesses to testify.

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