The highest profile case from the Jan. 6 Capitol attack went to trial this Monday. The Oath Keepers, an armed paramilitary organization founded by Stewart Rhodes, are accused of leading the attack, and plotting and organizing for months prior in an attempt to oppose by force the peaceful transition of power.
ISD Senior Research Manager and extremism expert Jared Holt discussed the stakes of the court case against the militia group with USA Today explaining that its almost like a referendum on the insurrection itself. “Whatever the outcome, it will have reverberations across the landscape of American far-right extremism.”
“Prosecutors are really going for the three-pointer shot instead of a layup,” he continued. “If they’re successful, it will send a very powerful message, and if they’re not successful, that could also be a powerful message in a more negative way.”
The founder of the Oath Keepers and 4 accomplices planed “an armed rebellion” to keep then President Trump in office, regardless of if the Insurrection Act was invoked or not, a federal prosecutor said on Monday. The trial is expected to last six to seven weeks and if found guilty, the accused could be facing decades-long sentences.