WASHINGTON, D.C. – A former U.S. Army veteran and leader of the far-right militia group Oath Keepers was sentenced to 18 years in prison for planning and coordinating the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
The defendant, whose identity remains undisclosed due to ongoing legal proceedings, is one of the highest-ranking members of the Oath Keepers to face charges for their involvement in the attack, which sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.
The charges against the defendant included:
- Conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding.
- Obstruction of an official proceeding.
- Destruction of government property.
The case was presided over by a federal judge who deemed the defendant’s actions a grave threat to the democratic principles of the nation.
In his remarks, the judge emphasized that the 18-year sentence should serve as a strong deterrent for anyone considering such actions in the future. “This sentence reflects the seriousness of the crimes committed and sends a clear message that attempts to disrupt our democratic process will not be tolerated,” the judge stated.
As one of the leaders of the Oath Keepers, the defendant was found to have actively participated in the planning and execution of the attack. Evidence presented in court detailed how the defendant and others in the group coordinated their actions, including using military-style tactics and encrypted communication channels.
The attack on January 6, 2021, saw thousands of supporters of then-President Donald Trump storm the U.S. Capitol building, resulting in widespread damage, numerous injuries, and several deaths. The incident led to heightened security measures at the Capitol and sparked a nationwide conversation about the extent of political division in the United States.
This case is part of an ongoing investigation by the Department of Justice into the events of January 6. Over 700 people have been charged in connection with the attack, and several other high-ranking members of the Oath Keepers are awaiting trial.
The Oath Keepers, established in 2009, is a far-right militia group primarily comprised of former military, police, and first responders. The group purports to defend the Constitution but has been widely criticized for promoting extremist views and for its involvement in acts of political violence.