Stewart Rhodes, founder of the far-right Oath Keepers militia, was found guilty of sedition on Tuesday for his role in the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol by supporters of former president Donald Trump.
Another member of the Oath Keepers, Kelly Meggs, was also found guilty of seditious conspiracy while three other co-defendants were acquitted of the same charge, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
The verdict capped a nearly two-month, high-stakes trial in which the government sought to prove that the violent January 6 assault, which temporarily halted Joe Biden’s confirmation as president, amounted to a rebellion against the government by Trump backers.
The five were the first of the nearly 800 people accused in the uprising to go on trial for the hefty charge.
The Justice Department said Rhodes and the Oath Keepers “concocted a plan for an armed rebellion… plotting to oppose by force the government of the United States.”
Prosecutors showed videos of the attack by dozens of group members dressed in military-style combat gear.
But the defendants characterized the case as a political trial carried out by the Biden administration against supporters of his predecessor, Trump.