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Student Morgan Fine-Morris chops vegetables as Rabbi Steven Nathan cooks with students Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, at Lehigh University's new Jewish Student Center in Bethlehem.

Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the far-right Oath Keepers militia, was convicted on Tuesday along with one of his subordinates of seditious conspiracy as a jury found them guilty of seeking to keep former President Donald J. Trump in power through an extensive plot that started after the 2020 election and culminated in the mob attack on the Capitol.

The jury in Federal District Court in Washington found three other defendants in the case not guilty of sedition and acquitted Mr. Rhodes of two separate conspiracy charges.


The split verdicts, coming after three days of deliberations, were a landmark — if not total — victory for the Justice Department, which poured enormous effort into prosecuting Mr. Rhodes and his four co-defendants.

The sedition convictions marked the first time in nearly 20 trials related to the Capitol attack that a jury had decided that the violence that erupted on Jan. 6, 2021, was the product of an organized conspiracy.


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Seditious conspiracy is the most serious charge brought so far in any of the 900 criminal cases stemming from the vast investigation of the Capitol attack, an inquiry that could still result in scores, if not hundreds, of additional arrests. Mr. Rhodes, 57, was also found guilty of obstructing the certification of the election during a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6 and of destroying evidence in the case. On those three counts, he faces a maximum of 60 years in prison.

Nearly two years after the assault on the Capitol by Trump supporters, the events of Jan. 6 and what led up to them remain at the center of American politics and the subject of multiple investigations, including an inquiry by the Justice Department into any criminal culpability that Mr. Trump and some of his allies might face and an exhaustive account being assembled by a House select committee.

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But it is not clear how much effect it might have on broader public perceptions that have hardened, largely along partisan lines, over the past two years. Mr. Trump, written off as a political force in the days after the attack, is again a candidate for president, embraced by a substantial portion of his party as he continues to promote the lie that the election was stolen from him.

Mr. Rhodes was convicted of sedition along with Kelly Meggs, who ran the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers at the time the Capitol was stormed. Three other defendants who played lesser roles in the planning for Jan. 6 — Kenneth Harrelson, Jessica Watkins and Thomas Caldwell — were found not guilty of sedition.

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