Oath Keepers founder requests 90-day trial delay, says had to fire lawyers

Rhodes' attorney argued that the arrest of a top Oath Keepers lawyer "represents a monumental change" in his defense strategy.

Updated: September 7, 2022 - 9:40am

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Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes is asking a federal judge to postpone his trial this month related to charges in connection to the Jan. 6 riot – saying he's had to fire his attorneys after a "breakdown" in communication.

Rhodes has asked for a 90-day extension. 

Rhodes' new attorney, Edward Tarpley, wrote in a filing Tuesday that his client "is not prepared for trial," which is scheduled for Sept. 26 along with other Oath Keepers members for seditious conspiracy related to the 2020 election and the subsequent Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

The co-defendants had nearly a year more than Rhodes to prepare for trial, as the Oath Keepers founder was indicted much later, Tarpley said.

Additionally, prosecutors have yet to provide "most" of the required information under discovery, according to the court document. Tarpley outlined 14 "necessary motions" that still need to be filed before going to court.

"Rhodes has had a complete, or near-complete breakdown of communication between himself and his prior counselors," Tarpley wrote, going on to later state that "Rhodes has been unable to communicate" with his attorneys since Aug. 10 despite "repeatedly" calling. 

Tarpley also said the arrest last week of Oath Keepers general counsel Kellye Sorelle, Rhode’s former girlfriend, "represents a monumental change" in his client's defense strategy.