Oath Keepers associates found guilty of conspiracy in Jan. 6 Capitol attack
Written by ABC Audio ALL RIGHTS RESERVED on March 20, 2023
(WASHINGTON) — A Washington, D.C., jury on Monday found four associates of the far-right Oath Keepers militia group guilty of conspiracy for their role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Through the course of two separate trials late last year into January, six members of the Oath Keepers were found guilty of seditious conspiracy including the group’s leader, Stewart Rhodes.
The six defendants in the current jury trial, Sandra Parker, Bennie Parker, Laura Steele, Connie Meggs, Michael Greene and William Isaacs, faced the lesser charge of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding along with a range of other felony charges.
Isaacs, Meggs, Steele and Sandra Parker were found guilty as charged while Greene was acquitted of conspiracy to obstruct and prevent officers from carrying out their duties. Bennie Parker was found not guilty of obstructing the Electoral College certification while all six defendants were found guilty of trespassing.
All the defendants have maintained their innocence throughout the trial, arguing the events of Jan. 6 were more of a spontaneous outburst stemming from peaceful protest and not part of a coordinated effort to topple the government. Defense counsel is expected to challenge the verdict in court.
While Bennie Parker and Greene were not alleged to have entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, prosecutors said the other four defendants did as part of the now-infamous ‘stack’ formation of Oath Keepers clad in military-style gear seen moving together through the pro-Trump mob.
Greene, U.S. Army veteran who served as an operations leader for the Oath Keepers on Jan. 6 but denied being a formal group member, previously testified on Stewart Rhodes’ behalf during the first Oath Keepers seditious conspiracy trial late last year.
While Greene denied the Oath Keepers engaged in any planned effort to attack the Capitol, prosecutors cited private messages he had sent to a Signal chat members of the group communicated in during the course of the riot, including one saying, “We’re storming the Capitol” and another where he noted how rioters had invaded then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.
Jury deliberations continue on two charges against Bennie Parker and Michael Greene.
Authorities have arrested some 1,000 people in connection to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Federal prosecutors continue to bring forward a mountain of evidence in a variety of complex legal cases, some involving multiple defendants each.
Five accused members of another far-right group known as the Proud Boys are currently standing trial on seditious conspiracy charges. The jury trial is expected to continue at least through the end of the month.
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