“They claimed to be saving the Republic,” He stated, “but they fractured it instead.”
Between those remarks, the prosecutors showed hundreds of dollars to the jury. of Swapping encrypted text messages by Oath Keepers Members, demonstrating Mr. Rhodes’s support for some of His followers were in thrall to outlandish fears that Chinese agents had infiltrated the United States government and that Mr. Biden — a “puppet” of the Chinese Communist Party — might cede control of The country to the United Nations
The messages revealed that Rhodes was also obsessed by antifa, the leftist movement he believed was his. in league with Mr. Biden’s incoming administration. During the trial, Mr. Rhodes took the stand at one point. in In his defense, he stated to the jury that he was certain that antifa activists would storm Trump’s White House, take control of the Secret Service, and force him out of the building if he didn’t admit defeat to Biden.
Prosecutors tried to show how Rhodes, an ex-Army paratrooper and Yale law graduate, became more panicky as the election approached its final certification at a joint session. of Congress on Jan. 6. He directed the development of the Oath Keepers — whose members are largely former law-enforcement officers and military veterans — took part in Two “Stop the Steal” Rallyes in Washington, which provides event security and serves as bodyguards for pro Trump dignitaries.
The jury was informed that Mr. Rhodes wanted to be elected during the postelection period. in contact Mr. Trump to convince him to take extraordinary steps to retain power. He posted two open letters to Trump in December 2020. They asked him to seize voting data from the country to prove that the election was rigged.
In the letters Mr. Rhodes also encouraged Mr. Trump, who was also advised by him, to invoke the Insurrection Law, which is a nearly two-century-old law that he believes would give the president power to summon militias similar to his own to suppress the rebellion. “coup” — purportedly led by Mr. Biden and Kamala Harris, the incoming vice president — that was seeking to unseat him.
“If you fail to act while you are still in office,” Trump was informed by Mr. Rhodes “we the people will have to fight a bloody war against these two illegitimate Chinese puppets.”
As part of the plot, prosecutors maintained, Mr. Rhodes placed a (*6*) of Highly armed Oath Keepers Comfort Inn in Arlington County, Va. is ready to rush their weapons into Washington for their fellow citizens at the Capitol. Former Navy officer, Mr. Caldwell tried to get a boat for the gun carriage across the Potomac River. He was concerned about the safety of the streets. in The city could be closed.