Prosecutors Rest Case In Oath Keepers' Seditious Conspiracy Trial

Notably, jurors did not hear from three members of the anti-government group who cooperated with investigators and pleaded guilty.

After nearly five weeks, prosecutors rested their case Thursday against five Oath Keepers accused of seditious conspiracy for their alleged role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Elmer Stewart Rhodes, who founded the anti-government group in the wake of Barack Obama’s presidential election, is among the defendants each facing up to 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors spent days walking jurors through text messages sent via the encrypted messaging app Signal in which members of the extremist group allegedly discussed ways of using force to stop Joe Biden from becoming president. FBI agents and other law enforcement sources, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer named Harry Dunn, also took the stand to describe the violence seen on Capitol Hill after then-President Donald Trump held a rally in protest of the 2020 election results.

The government reportedly concluded by once again playing an audio recording of Rhodes from four days after the attack, according to NBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner at the courthouse.

“We should have brought rifles. We could have fixed it right then and there,” Rhodes says in the recording, before adding, “I’d hang fuckin’ [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi from the lamppost.”

Prosecutors notably did not call to testify three Oath Keepers who cooperated with investigators and pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy ― including North Carolina Oath Keepers chapter leader William Todd Wilson.

Wilson has said he was present when Rhodes allegedly decamped to a hotel room on the afternoon of the Capitol attack to place a call to someone with the power to get ahold of Trump. Rhodes allegedly begged the individual to tell the then-president to call upon groups like the Oath Keepers to forcibly keep him in power, believing that Trump could invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 to give them legal cover for the use of violence.

Instead, jurors in Rhodes’ trial heard from witness Jason Alpers, who provided the audio recording of their meeting after the Capitol attack. In that meeting, Rhodes allegedly typed out a letter for Alpers to pass along to Trump, although Alpers never did.

The panel also heard from Jason Dolan and Graydon Young, two Oath Keepers who pleaded guilty on lesser charges related to the riot.

Defendants will now have a chance to present their side before the group of Washington residents goes off to deliberate.

Rhodes is expected to offer testimony himself.

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