Oath Keeper pleads guilty to Capitol riot charges
A member of the Oath Keepers pleaded guilty on Wednesday to charges stemming from the riot at the Capitol, making him the first defendant in federal prosecutors’ biggest case since Jan. 6 to enter a plea agreement.
A federal district court judge in Washington, D.C., had abruptly scheduled a plea agreement hearing for Graydon Young, one of 16 co-defendants affiliated with the Oath Keepers who have been charged with conspiracy and other crimes over their roles in allegedly plotting and carrying out the Capitol attack.
The 54-year-old Florida resident said during the hearing that he had agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and potentially testify during a later trial or before a grand jury.
Young pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding, avoiding four other counts with which he had initially been charged.
Judge Amit Mehta advised Young during the hearing that the agreement could mean that he ends up receiving a sentence of up to 6.5 years in prison, though prosecutors could ask for a more lenient sentence after assessing the level of his cooperation.
Prosecutors alleged that Young and others moved throughout the mayhem Jan. 6 in a military-style “stack” formation clad in fatigues and combat gear.
They had also alleged that Young had helped recruit for the trip to D.C. and financed others’ travel costs, but said that they don’t believe he played a leadership role in the group.
Young had also been charged with one count of evidence tampering for deleting his Facebook account after the riot.
Updated at 2:30 p.m.
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