DC Jury Finds Four More Oath Keepers Guilty of Seditious Conspiracy Charges in Jan. 6 Attack on U.S. Capitol

Trump supporters near the U.S Capitol, on January 06, 2021, in Washington, DC. The protesters stormed the historic building, breaking windows and clashing with police. Trump supporters had gathered in the nation’s capital that day to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

By Kevin Barragan

WASHINGTON, DC – A federal grand jury has found four more Oath Keepers guilty of seditious conspiracy charges on the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the nation’s Capitol.

“Their actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election,” said the Department of Justice.

“According to the evidence at trial, in the months leading up to Jan. 6 these defendants and their co-conspirators plotted to oppose by force the lawful transfer of presidential power, including an armed ‘quick reaction force’ on the outskirts of District of Columbia,” DOJ added.

Oath Keepers Robert Munuta, Joseph Hackett, David Moerschel and Edward Vallejo were all found guilty of conspiracy.

“All four were found guilty of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an official of an official proceeding, and conspiracy to prevent Members of Congress from discharging their official duties,” confirmed the DOJ.

Oath member Hackett was also found guilty of destruction of evidence.

U.S Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said, “Today, the Justice Department secured the conviction of four members of the Oath Keepers for their criminal conduct surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.

“A jury found all four defendants guilty of seditious conspiracy as well as conspiracies to obstruct the certification of the electoral college vote and to prevent members of Congress from discharging their duties.”

“Today’s verdict is an important step in our continued efforts to hold criminally accountable those involved in the breach of the U.S Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, “ added FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Wray said, “We will continue to investigate those who sought to undermine the workings of American democracy and we will work closely with federal prosecutors to ensure justice is served.”

“For the second time in recent months, a jury found that a group of Americans entered into a seditious conspiracy against the U.S.,” announced U.S Attorney Matthew M Graves, adding, “The goal of this conspiracy was to prevent the execution of our laws that govern the peaceful transfer of power.”

Five more Oath Keepers:  Elmer Rhodes II, Kelly Meggs, Jessica Watkins, Kenneth Harrelason, and Thomas Caldwell have also been convicted of the most serious seditious conspiracy charges.    

“Seditious conspiracy, conspiracy to obstruct Congress, obstruction of Congress, and destruction of evidence all carry a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison,” clarified the DOJ. Sentencing will be made at a later, yet-to-be-announced date.

The DOJ statement said:

“According to the government’s evidence, following the Nov. 3, 2020, presidential election, the defendants conspired together…to oppose by force the execution of the laws governing the transfer of presidential power by Jan. 20, 2021.

“Beginning in late December 2020, via encrypted and private communications applications, the defendants and various co-conspirators coordinated and planned to travel to Washington, D.C., on or around Jan. 5, 2021, the date of certification of the electoral college vote.

“The oath conspirators conspired together to travel to Washington D.C early January 2021 to team up and transport firearms and ammunition into Washington D.C. They recruited members and affiliates into participating in the conspiracy; organizing training to teach and learn paramilitary combat tactics…

(They) “brought and contributed paramilitary gear, weapons, and supplies – including knives, camouflage combat uniforms, tactical vests with plates, helmets, eye protection, and radio equipment—to the Capitol grounds…

(The co-conspirators) “breached and attempted to take control of the Capitol grounds and building on Jan. 6, 2021; used force against law enforcement officers while inside the Capitol on Jan.6 2021; continuing to plot after Jan 6, 2021, to oppose by force the lawful transfer of presidential power.”

The DOJ noted the FBI Washington Field Office and Metropolitan Police Department are investigating the case along with FBI NY, Tampa and Phoenix, and 950 individuals that reside within the 50 states have been arrested for being connected to the conspiracy crimes.

“The investigation continues to be ongoing” concluded the DOJ.

About The Author

Kevin Barragan is a first-generation senior at California State University, Los Angeles majoring in political science with an emphasis in prelegal studies and minoring in criminal justice. He plans to attend law school after undergrad in hopes to pursue a law career in advocating for social and civil rights.

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