Three members of the Oath Keepers (Los Guardianes del Juramento) and an associate of that far-right militia have been found guilty of seditious conspiracy for their roles in the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The four men thus add to the sentences already imposed on the group’s founder, Stewart Rhodes, and his lieutenant Kelly Meggs for their role in that attack.
The four sentenced this Monday are Roberto Minuta, Joseph Hackett, David Moerschel and Edward Vallejo. They were accused of seeking to prevent the certification, that historic January 6, of Joe Biden as the legitimate president of the United States after his electoral victory in November 2020. That day, a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop that process and prevent the peaceful transfer of power.
Among other things, prosecutors accused Vallejo of having been in charge of a shipment of weapons at a Virginia hotel near Washington and the Capitol on the other side of the Potomac River. That armament was to be the “quick reaction force” in the assault. For their part, Hackett, Moerschel, and Minuta led groups that forcibly entered the headquarters of the US Congress.
The guilty verdict caps a five-week trial in which prosecutors accused the four defendants of resorting to a “perverse” version of history to justify their actions. The inmates now face a sentence that can bring them up to twenty years in prison.
“Attacking the Capitol was a means to an end,” the prosecutor in charge of the case, Louis Manzo, had told the jury in his closing arguments last Wednesday. “January 6 was just a battle. The entire conspiracy was intended to stop the transfer of power,” he alleged.
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