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Oath Keepers charged in Jan. 6 inquiry to appear in court Friday

Two members of the far-right militia group the Oath Keepers are scheduled to appear in court on Friday after being charged in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers, is scheduled to appear in court in Plano, Texas, on Friday afternoon while Edward Vallejo of Arizona is slated to appear in court in Phoenix.

Both Rhodes and Vallejo were charged for the first time on Thursday and face multiple counts, including “seditious conspiracy,” conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting, and conspiracy to prevent an officer from discharging any duties.

Rhodes was also charged with tampering with documents or proceedings and aiding and abetting, according to a court filing.

Rhodes and Vallejo, in addition to nine other members of the Oath Keepers, are among the first Jan. 6 riot defendants to be charged with seditious conspiracy in connection with the insurrection.

According to an indictment, Rhodes allegedly coordinated to travel into Washington, D.C. with other Oath Keepers to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally and conducted a meeting with the group’s leaders where he “outlined a plan to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power, including preparations for the use of force, and urged those listening to participate.”

Members of the Oath Keepers were allegedly organized into military-style formations by Rhodes, including an armed “quick reaction force” that was stationed outside of D.C. and two organized groups that breached into the Capitol, prosecutors allege.

The indictment also alleges Rhodes spent thousands of dollars on supplies such as firearms, a weapons sight, “night vision devices” and ammunition.

Rhodes has claimed that he never went inside the Capitol but was present during the riot.

Rhodes and Vallejo are among the more than 700 people who have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 riot in which a mob of supporters of former President Trump breached the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 presidential election results.

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