National Security

YouTube deactivates channels linked to Oath Keepers

YouTube deactivated two channels linked to the Oath Keepers, a far-right group whose leader and members have been charged with sedition for involvement in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. 

The two channels that were deactivated included one called “Oath Keepers” and another belonging to Stewart Rhodes, the group’s founder and leader. The first group had under 45,000 subscribers, while Rhodes’s account had less than 20, according to Axios

“This termination follows evidence presented in federal indictments against the Oath Keepers and the charges against them and their role in the January 6 attacks,” YouTube said to Axios. 

YouTube also said the channels violated the site’s creator responsibility guidelines, which say if there is “significant evidence presented in a court of law against a creator for a very egregious crime, we may terminate their channel if its YouTube content is closely related to the crime,” Axios reported. 

Moving forward, the Oath Keepers cannot use, own or create channels on the video-sharing platform, the outlet added. 

The Hill has reached out to YouTube for comment. 

The action comes just one day after prosecutors claimed that a group of Oath Keepers had an arsenal of rifles, ammunition and supplies to last 30 days in a Virginia hotel as preparation to stop the electoral vote count on Jan. 6 of last year.

Federal prosecutors last week charged Rhodes and 10 other members of the far-right militia group with seditious conspiracy for their role in the Jan. 6 riot. 

“The seditious conspiracy indictment alleges that, following the Nov. 3, 2020, presidential election, Rhodes conspired with his co-defendants and others to oppose by force the execution of the laws governing the transfer of presidential power by Jan. 20, 2021,” the Justice Department wrote in a release.

Though Rhodes was not in the Capitol on Jan. 6, he faces charges along with other Oath Keeper members who used a military “stack” formation to enter the building.

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