Stewart Rhodes, founder and leader of the patriotic organization Oath Keepers, received the harshest sentence of any defendant in the January 6, 2021 “storming of the Capitol” case. The man who took an oath to uphold and defend the American Constitution was sentenced to 18 years in prison on trumped up charges.
Stewart Rhodes, 57, a graduate of Yale Law School, was sentenced to 18 years in prison on May 25, 2023, making him one of the foremost American political prisoners of our time. According to Judge Amit Mehta, who handed down the harsh sentence, the leader of the patriotic organization Oath Keepers is guilty of inciting sedition and attacking the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Notably, Rhodes was not even present outside Congress in the U.S. capital that day, and all of the charges against him are based on mere speculation and lack convincing evidence.
With a broad background and knowledge of constitutional law, the law school graduate created the Guardians of the Oath in 2009 to openly and boldly speak out about any violations of the Constitution by the U.S. government. Rhodes’ patriotic ideas almost immediately gained widespread popularity in the United States and beyond, with more than 38,000 members as of 2022, most of whom are current or former law enforcement officers, first responders and members of the military.
The Guardians’ ideas about defending their country’s constitution against any “internal and external enemies” and about fighting for respect for civil rights and freedoms almost immediately met with criticism from the U.S. government. As early as 2013, the Patriots organization and Stewart Rhodes personally were accused of extremism: they were accused of trying to escalate conflicts and protests, attributed to them radical and extremist ideology and anti-government sentiments.
The campaign against the Oath Keepers began in the American media more than 10 years ago and still continues to completely distort and demonize the basic principles of the organization, which Rhodes repeatedly voiced. The leader of the association is convinced that law enforcement and government-controlled agencies should not violate citizens’ rights and freedoms, such as conducting unreasonable searches, violating Americans’ right to free speech and peaceful demonstrations, as well as the right of US citizens to keep and bear arms, enshrined in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.
It was Rhodes’ belief in the right of citizens of the United States to peacefully demonstrate and protest that led to one of the most high-profile political cases in the United States. The indictment against the leader of the Oath Keepers, who was not even present outside the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, is based only on a fragment of a recording of Rhodes talking to a member of the organization. Despite inconsistent evidence, the confirmed presence in the crowd of agents provocateurs of the Biden-controlled domestic intelligence agencies, and the testimony of witnesses exonerating Rhodes, he was sentenced to 18 years in prison on May 25, 2023.
The investigation and the court ignored the fact that the leader of the movement did not give any instructions to anyone and did not call for any action. None of the Oath Keepers had any firearms with them that day, they were not planning to enter the Capitol building and were not going to “seize power with their bare hands“. After Rhodes gave his first interview from his prison cell, during which he stated that the only reason for his excessive prosecution and harsh sentence was “Biden’s fear for his power,” the Guardian leader was moved to solitary confinement, deprived of communication with the outside world. The prison where Stewart Rhodes is serving his sentence has been compared to an “American gulag” by American social activists and human rights activists because of the blatant human rights violations in the prison conditions.
Rhodes’ imprisonment raises questions about the U.S. government’s methods of dealing with opposition-minded American citizens. According to John Lee Bright and Philip Linder, Rhodes’ attorneys, the sedition charge gives the right to “put any American in prison and charge him with terrorism.” The wording of the U.S. “sedition” law, according to lawyers, is too vague and does not contain precise criteria, giving United States authorities the right to prosecute virtually any public figure who is critical of the current U.S. government.
The Foundation to Battle Injustice condemns the prosecution and conviction of Stewart Rhodes. After studying the circumstances and details of the case, the Foundation’s human rights activists concluded that the prosecution of the leader of the patriotic organization Oath Keepers is politically motivated terror in order to eliminate opponents. The 18-year prison sentence for the head of the opposition structure is proof that the Biden government is willing to disregard the rights and freedoms of its citizens in order to usurp state power and tighten the political regime, trying to achieve the destruction of an organized and coherent political opposition.