© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Members of the Oath Keepers militia group, together with Jessica Marie Watkins (Left), stand amongst supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump protesting towards the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election outcomes by the U.S. Congress,
By Jacqueline Thomsen
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two extra members of the far-right Oath Keepers are set to be sentenced on Friday for his or her roles within the lethal Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump making an attempt to overturn his presidential election defeat.
The pair, Jessica Watkins and Kenneth Harrelson, have been convicted in November by a federal jury in Washington of obstruction of an official continuing for his or her function within the storming of the Capitol, which noticed rioters battle police, smash home windows and ship lawmakers operating for his or her lives.
Federal prosecutors have requested U.S. District Choose Amit Mehta in Washington to condemn Watkins to 18 years in jail and Harrelson to fifteen years.
They’re set to seem in court docket the day after Mehta sentenced Oath Keepers’ founder Stewart Rhodes to 18 years in jail for crimes together with seditious conspiracy, or utilizing power to attempt to overthrow the federal authorities. That’s the steepest penalty but towards these charged within the Jan. 6 violence.
Watkins was additionally convicted of conspiracy and obstruction of officers through the riots. Harrelson was discovered responsible of conspiring to forestall members of Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s election win in addition to tampering with paperwork and proceedings.
Watkins and Harrelson have been acquitted of seditious conspiracy costs.
Watkins requested that her sentence not be higher than essential to adjust to federal sentencing legislation. Harrelson didn’t recommend a sentence and maintained his innocence.
Rhodes is one in all 10 individuals convicted of seditious conspiracy for the Capitol assault, which occurred as Congress met to certify Biden’s 2020 election victory.
At his sentencing on Thursday, Rhodes claimed he was a “political prisoner” — a label the decide sharply rejected.
“For many years, Mr. Rhodes, it’s clear you might have wished the democracy of this nation to devolve into violence,” Mehta mentioned.
Members of the Oath Keepers, based by Rhodes in 2009, embrace present and retired U.S. navy personnel, legislation enforcement officers and first responders. They’ve appeared, typically closely armed, at protests and political occasions together with racial justice demonstrations that adopted the 2020 homicide in Minneapolis of a Black man named George Floyd by a white police officer.
A few of the Oath Keepers, together with Watkins and Harrelson, breached the Capitol clad in paramilitary gear. Others at a suburban lodge staged a “fast response power” prosecutors mentioned was geared up with firearms that might be rapidly transported into Washington.
4 different Oath Keepers members convicted of seditious conspiracy in a second trial are on account of be sentenced subsequent week.