Attorney General Merrick Garland is known to be a rather modest, reserved man. But he could not help but to gloat just a little bit in the aftermath of the Oath Keeper convictions — and to praise the Justice Department for its continued determination to put the violent extremists behind bars.
Stewart Rhodes and Kelly Meggs were found guilty of seditious conspiracy and of obstructing an official proceeding for their activities surrounding the January 6th insurrection. Each conviction carries a maximum penalty of twenty years in prison.
Three other defendants, Jessica Watkins, Kenneth Harrelson, and Thomas Caldwell, were also convicted of obstructing an official proceeding.
Interfering with the peaceful transfer of power was the plan from the very beginning, Garland noted:
“[A]lmost immediately following the November 2020 election,” he said, “defendant Stewart Rhodes, the founder and leader of the Oath Keepers began planning to oppose by force the peaceful transfer of power. With Rhodes, defendants Kelly Meggs, Kenneth Harrelson, Jessica Watson and Thomas Caldwell communicated and planned to travel to Washington on or around Jan. 6, 2021.”
Of course, reading between the lines, it’s worth noting that these violent insurrectionists did not simply make this decision on their own accord: they were goaded into it by Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Little Donny Jr, the Pillow Putz, and a number of other liars and Trump sycophants who created the terror-welcoming atmosphere fanatics thrive in.
It's now 693 days since Donald Trump's Jan 6 terrorist attack. Not only has Trump not been charged with even one crime, he's now running for President where he's actively spewing more lies to delegitimize our democracy.
Long past Time for Merrick Garland to INDICT TRUMP!!
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) November 30, 2022
Let’s not forget Trump telling the Proud Boys to “stand by” during his debate with Biden. And both the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers have been linked to close Trump advisor (and ersatz-Bond villain) Roger Stone.
Two violent right-wing extremist groups with ties to Trump's oldest political advisor Roger Stone have been tied together in a seditious conspiracy indictment. #TrumpCoupAttempt https://t.co/scthgp93Me
— Occupy Democrats (@OccupyDemocrats) June 6, 2022
For his part, Garland avoided questions about Trump — considered by many on the left to be the nation’s #1 terrorist — and is evidently happy to leave the matter to the newly appointed special counsel, Jack Smith.
Yet his assertion that the Oath Keepers were plotting the insurrection forces us to ask why.
And it’s clear that the answer is that they were told over and over again that the election had been stolen.
Before the January 6 attack, Trump told his followers to make their way to the capital, promising the day “will be wild.”
And wild it was, leading to several deaths, a great deal of destruction, and threats to kill his own vice president.
What would also be wild, of course, would be if the Justice Department arrested the person most responsible.
Help Ross get the Orange Demon (and Little Donny too) by following him on Twitter. @RossRosenfeld