According to an audio from the Department of Justice, the founder of Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes, regretted that on the day of the assault on the Capitol, the rioters did not carry more weapons with them.
Stewart Rhodes, founder of the right-wing extremist group that defends Donald Trump with weapons, Oath Keepers, was recorded on audio days after the January 6 riots on Capitol Hill lamenting that the rioters did not carry more weapons that day.
“My only regret is that they should have brought rifles,” Rhodes is heard saying in a statement recorded on January 10 and played by the government during opening statements in the conspiracy trial of Rhodes and his co-defendants Thomas Caldwell, Kenneth Harrelson, Kelly Meggs and Jessica Watkins.
In the Justice Department audio, Rhodes can also be heard saying that everything could have been fixed that day if the rioters had had more weapons in their possession.
Prosecutors told the jury that Rhodes and the other defendants had planned to do whatever was necessary to prevent the transfer of presidential power. Rhodes told his followers that “we must prepare for civil war” in an encrypted Signal message.
According to NBC News reports, attorneys for those named say they followed DC’s strict gun laws, “which they say is an indication that they would have only acted on an order from then-President Donald Trump. But the audio recording and other evidence prosecutors presented Monday suggest that Rhodes planned to disrupt certification of the presidential election regardless of what Trump said.”
Trump supporters stormed the Capitol after the former president falsely claimed the election had been stolen from him through widespread fraud. Five people were killed during or shortly after the riot and some 140 policemen were injured.
The five defendants face numerous felony charges, including seditious conspiracy, a Civil War-era statute that is rarely prosecuted and carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.