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Oath Keepers founder predicts Trump is next big political figure to face prosecution

Rhodes, a Yale Law School graduate and a former Army paratrooper, said his case has set a dangerous example. 

Published: December 29, 2022 12:31pm

Updated: December 29, 2022 1:28pm

Oath Keepers militia founder Stewart Rhodes, who was convicted last month of seditious conspiracy and other charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, said in an interview from jail that his case is a precursor for a possible prosecution of former President Donald Trump.

"Their success in my trial is paving the way for them to keep rolling through other people building up to Trump," Rhodes, 57, told The Washington Times on Wednesday. "It was a warm-up for what they’re going to do. That’s what that was: a political show trial."

Rhodes, a Yale Law School graduate and a former Army paratrooper, said he plans on appealing the guilty verdict, but his case has already set a dangerous example. 

"Seditious conspiracy now is the most dangerous weapon that the deep state and the establishment have to use against dissent," Rhodes said. "There’s no requirement, no element of that charge that includes an act in furtherance of a conspiracy."

Rhodes said he believes the charge "wipes out the free speech of the American people."

He was also convicted of tampering with documents and proceedings and obstructing an official proceeding. Rhodes has said his group was in D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021, to provide security for the pro-Trump rallies and that he did not enter the Capitol nor did he direct anyone to do so. He stressed that he has never spoken with Trump or his associates,

"They’re going to do the exact same thing to President Trump," Rhodes told the outlet. "That’s my prediction. They’re going to prosecute Trump."

Rhodes said that if the Justice Department prosecutes Trump, "of course, a D.C. jury will find him guilty. ... What kind of fair trial are you going to get in a politically charged environment like Washington, D.C.?"

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