Members of the Oath Keepers were found to be involved in a treasonous conspiracy



CNN

A Washington, D.C., jury on Monday convicted three members of the Oath Guard and a fourth with ties to a far-right group of treasonous conspiracy. January 6, 2021, Rebellion.

Roberto Minuta, Joseph Hackett, David Morschel and Edward Vallejo were charged with conspiring to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 Electoral College victory, culminating in an attack on the US capital.

The convictions are another victory for the judiciary, which earlier last year brought rare charges against members of the far-right militia. After a 10-week trial this fall, Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and the group’s leader in Florida, Kelly Meeks, were among the first to be found guilty of treasonous conspiracy.

No sentencing date has been set, but the four defendants will be kept under house arrest pending sentencing, Judge Amit Mehta said on Monday. They can’t keep guns at home, and all four will have limits on their phone communication and internet use.

Defendants in the case include Minuta, an oath keeper from New Jersey whom prosecutors described as one of Rhodes’ “most trusted men”; Hackett, an alleged recruiter for Florida Oath Keeper, was adept at hiding his identity, prosecutors said; Morschel is said to be part of a so-called stack formation, which prosecutors said acted like a “battering ram.” And Vallejo, one of the leaders of the armed rapid reaction force, called for “guerrilla warfare” on the morning of January 6, prosecutors said.

In addition to the treasonous conspiracy charges, Minuda, Hackett, Morschel, and Vallejo were also found guilty of conspiracy to obstruct official action, obstructing and aiding and abetting official action, as well as conspiracy to obstruct the expulsion of a member of Congress. Official duties.

Hackett was found guilty of tampering with documents or procedures.

Hackett and Morschel were found not guilty of destruction of government property. Minuta and Morschel were found not guilty of tampering with documents or proceedings.

Jury deliberations in the case began last week, and during his closing arguments, prosecutor Louis Manzo walked the jury through weeks of trial testimony and told jurors to ignore defense attorneys’ arguments that the four men were innocent because they followed Rhodes.

In their own closing arguments, defense attorneys for the four argued that their clients did not conspire together to end the Biden presidency, saying the government’s case offered no evidence of a plan to attack the U.S. Capitol. Prosecutors repeatedly argued that not only had the government tampered with the evidence, but there was no evidence of conspiracy between the group, saying that while the jury found their clients’ statements incriminating, that was no reason to convict them of conspiracy. Issuance of election certificates should be stopped.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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