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    Prosecutor: Riot Was ‘Moment to Celebrate’ for Oath Keepers

    Prosecutor: Riot Was ‘Moment to Celebrate’ for Oath Keepers

    — The Capitol riot was the culmination of weeks of preparation and a moment of triumph for the Oath Keepers, a federal prosecutor said Wednesday in closing argument in the second seditious conspiracy trial against members of the far-right extremist group.

    Prosecutor Louis Manzo told jurors that Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, who was convicted in an earlier trial, began pushing to stop the transfer of from then-President Donald Trump to Democratic challenger Joe Biden almost immediately after the 2020 election, and that members of Rhodes' group took up the cause.

    Manzo said they brought weapons from around the country to create an arsenal stashed at a hotel just outside Washington before two groups of Oath Keepers stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, with hundreds of other rioters.

    “Our democracy was under attack, but for the defendants it was everything they trained for and a moment to celebrate,” Manzo said.

    Rhodes and a Florida chapter leader were convicted in November of seditious conspiracy and other charges in a major victory for the Justice Department. Three co-defendants were acquitted of seditious conspiracy, which carries up to 20 years behind bars.

    The question in the current trial is whether prosecutors can persuade jurors to convict lower-level defendants.

    In a separate trial at the same courthouse, the government is also trying to secure seditious conspiracy convictions against…

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