Hearing that her estranged husband, Elmer Stewart Rhodes, was convicted on seditious conspiracy against the United States, Tasha Adams said she felt “relieved and happy,” although she warned that Rhodes may try to seek a presidential pardon.
“This is the first time he’s ever faced consequences ― ever. Really, it’s the first time he’s ever been held accountable for anything he’s ever done,” she said.
Adams spoke with HuffPost briefly Tuesday after the verdict was read in Rhodes’ trial, a two-month affair that named him a defendant alongside four others linked to the far-right Oath Keepers group he founded over a decade ago.
Following three days of deliberation, the jury panel’s verdict was mixed on many of the charges against the Oath Keeper defendants. All five were found guilty of obstructing an official proceeding for their roles in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Two of them, Rhodes and Kelly Meggs ― a leader in the Oath Keepers’ Florida chapter ― were found guilty of sedition, the most serious charge levied against any of the Capitol rioters so far. It carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.
Adams shares six children with Rhodes; she filed for divorce in 2018 after more than two decades of marriage. In previous interviews with news outlets, Adams alleged that Rhodes spent Oath Keeper money on indulgences for himself and was abusive toward her and the children, three of whom spoke out against their father earlier this year.
Regarding the mixed overall verdict, Adams said that she trusted the Washington, D.C., jury panel to do their jobs well, saying, “I figured they were just going to take this really seriously and not just emotionally [decide] guilty or not.”
While she said she was pleased with the trial’s outcome, Adams warned that Rhodes was already likely looking ahead to 2024, planning to ask for a pardon if Donald Trump is elected president once again.
“I think he’s already mentally regrouped for that, and I think that’s where his mind is right now,” she said. “Mentally, he’s going to continue to see himself as this great man, this mystical messiah martyr that he thinks he is. He’ll see that.”
Adams said that Rhodes believes it’s his “destiny to be a martyr before he is eventually found to be a great leader.”
When he faces setbacks, Rhodes usually has “a few days of feeling down and out” but bounces back quickly, Adams said.
“It usually takes about three days to recreate some narrative about how wonderful he is, no matter how much he screwed things up,” she told HuffPost.
Adams explained how she wants people of every political stripe to understand that her estranged husband is not the man he portrays himself to be.
“He abused my kids, he abused me. He’s completely amoral. ... I do want them to understand that, too, so that he can’t just come back.”
Judge Amit Mehta is expected to hand down sentences in the coming weeks.
Two more seditious conspiracy trials ― one for a second group of Oath Keepers and one for a group of Proud Boys ― are scheduled to kick off in December.