“They claimed to save the republic,” he said, “but instead they destroyed it.”
In between those remarks, prosecutors showed the jury hundreds of encrypted text messages exchanged by members of the Vow Keepers, proving Mr. Rhodes and some of his followers are very concerned that Chinese agents have infiltrated the US government and that Mr Biden – a “puppet” of the Chinese Communist Party – may hand over control of the country to the United Nations.
The message also shows that Mr. Rhodes is obsessed with the left-wing movement known as Antifa, which he believes is aligned with Trump. Biden’s incoming administration. At some point during the trial, Mr. Rhodes, who appeared in his defense, told the jury he believed anti-fascist activists would storm the White House, suppress the Secret Service and forcibly drag Trump away. If Trump doesn’t throw in the towel to Trump, he’ll be kicked out of the building. biden.
Prosecutors tried to prove how Mr. Rhodes, a former Army paratrooper with a law degree from Yale, grew increasingly panicky as the election moved toward final certification in a joint session of Congress on Jan. 17. 6. Under his leadership, Oath Keepers — whose members are largely former law enforcement officers and military veterans — attended two “Stop the Stealing” rallies in Washington, providing event security and security for pro-Trump dignitaries. Bodyguard service.
Throughout the post-election period, the jury was told, Mr. Rhodes couldn’t wait to get in touch with Mister. Trump and convinced him to take extraordinary measures to maintain power. In December 2020, he sent two open letters to Mr. On his website, Trump implored the president to obtain data from voting machines across the country that he said could prove the election was rigged.
In the letter, Mr. Mr. Rhodes also urged. Trump will invoke the Insurrection Act, a more than two-century-old law that he argues gives the president the power to call in militias like himself to suppress groups allegedly led by Trump. “coup”. Biden and incoming Vice President Kamala Harris — are trying to get him out of office.
“If you don’t act while you’re in office,” Mr. Rhodes told Mr. Trump, “We the people will have to fight a bloody war with these two illegal Chinese puppets.”
As part of the conspiracy, prosecutors insist, Mr. Rhodes deployed a “quick reaction force” of heavily armed oathkeepers at the Comfort Inn in Arlington County, Virginia, ready to move weapons quickly to Washington if needed by his countrymen at the Capitol. gentlemen. Caldwell, a former naval officer, at one point tried to get a boat to carry the guns across the Potomac River, fearing that the city’s streets might be blocked.