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Rhoades: Insurrection Only Bad When Enemies Attack Me For It

The day before the election, head of the insurrectionist Oath Keepers Stewart Rhoades testified in his defense against charges of seditious conspiracy that his militia never planned to  attack the United States Capitol Building and that those individuals who did committed a “stupid” act.

Rhoades didn’t say that act was stupid because it was violent, treasonous, an morally unjustified. He said it was stupid because it hurt his cause:

In his first full day of testimony, Mr Rhodes claimed that Oath Keepers who breached the halls of Congress went “off mission” from the group’s goal that day: to protect and escort groups in Washington DC to protest what Mr Rhodes has falsely characterised as the “unconstitutional” 2020 presidential election. But some of those Oath Keepers are his co-defendants.

“I think it was stupid to go into the Capitol,” he told the jury in federal court. “One, because it wasn’t our mission … And two, it opened the door for our political enemies to persecute us. And that’s what happened, and here we are” [Alex Woodward, “Stewart Rhoades Blames Other Oath Keepers for Breaking into Capitol and Jokes About Sex with Lawyer,” Independent via Yahoo, 2022.11.07].

Hey, Stewart: people who commit insurrection, who abandon the norms of civil society and use violence to seek their political ends, deserve persecution and prosecution. And it’s not the fact that you may get caught and face consequences that makes what you and your Oath Keepers did “stupid”. It’s the action itself, the insurrection itself, the violence against law enforcement and lawmakers and the law itself, that is stupid, because it is wrong.

Related Ranting: Rhoades evidently thinks he can shrug off his own violent words as products of alcohol and anger:

Prosecutor Kathryn Rakoczy… pointed to statements Rhodes made in a secretly recorded conversation in the days after January 6 where he said he wished the Oath Keepers had brought rifles to the Capitol that day.

“If he’s not going to do the right thing, and he’s just going to let himself be removed illegally, then we should have brought rifles,” Rhodes said in the recording prosecutors again played for the jury.

“We could have fixed it right then and there,” Rhodes said of the Capitol attack, according to the recording. “I’d hang f**king Pelosi from the lamppost.”

After playing the recording, Rakoczy asked Rhodes, “That’s what you said four days after the assault at the Capitol, right?”

“Yeah, after a couple drinks and I was pissed off,” Rhodes testified [Holmes Lybrand and Hannah Rabinowitz, “Prosecutors Use Oath Keepers Leader’s Own Words Against Him in Heated Cross-Examination,” CNN, 2022.11.08].


  1. larry kurtz 2022-11-10 06:34

    Republican leadership is an oxymoron. The faster all the deplorables taser themselves in the testicles until their myocardias infarct the better.

  2. bearcreekbat 2022-11-10 11:11

    This is a classic example of why criminal defense lawyers advise their clients not to testify, despite the client’s insistence that he or she can convince the judge or jury that his or her actions were justified.

  3. Bob Newland 2022-11-10 18:06

    i’m convinced. Rhoades convinced me he needs to do time.

  4. leslie 2022-11-10 22:52

    Phil “the transplant legislator” Jensen is an Oath Keeper. Repeat that often.

    Warren Jeffs is a what?

  5. Mark Anderson 2022-11-11 14:11

    They said the same thing about Pelosi at Julie Auch’s meet and greet night at the Pit in the Wakonda Hotel and bar. She knocked off a Yankton Democrat. Nice place though, it’s forever, unless you want lunch.

  6. larry kurtz 2022-11-11 15:10

    You know, the Speaker of the House doesn’t need to be an incumbent member of Congress so if the Republicans regain the House of Representatives they could elect Trump as Speaker then assassinate POTUS Biden and VPOTUS Harris and Trump would become Chief Executive.

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