Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the Oath Keepers, sent a warning to former President Donald Trump, saying that if he ends up taking his federal criminal trial to court, he’s surely to be found guilty.
In an interview from jail with the Washington Times recently, Rhodes drew on his own personal experience in facing a federal jury last year. He said that the U.S. government is trying to turn many of Trump’s closest allies against him while also scaring off potential witnesses who could be called to defend Trump.
Rhodes is currently serving a sentence of 18 years in the Washington, D.C., Department of Corrections Central Detention Facility. Last year, he was found guilty by a federal jury of seditious conspiracy for the role he had in the Capitol insurrection on January 6 of 2021.
The Oath Keepers leader was accused of directing the members of the far-right group as they were storming the U.S. Capitol building.
In speaking about what he predicts will happen to Trump should he go to trial, he said that federal prosecutors would likely “do the same thing” to the former president as they did with him during his trial.
He was speaking directly to Trump when he said:
“You’re going to get railroaded. You’re going to be found guilty if you try to go to trial. So, everyone’s been demoralized and more likely to take a plea deal and agree to ‘test-a-lie’ against President Trump.”
During his own sentencing hearing, Rhodes could only be labeled as being defiant. In fact, he said that he was a political prisoner.
Amit Mehta, who was serving as the federal judge in Rhodes’ case, told him that he wasn’t a political prisoner, but instead was an “ongoing threat and peril” to the United States. Rhodes’ continued defiance in court is likely one of the reasons why he received such a long sentence, which actually is the longest sentence of any defendant in the January 6 cases.
In fact, Rhodes to the Washington Times that he was convicted in the case solely based on his words, and he said that the same thing would happen to Trump at a federal trial.
To this point, Trump hasn’t been charged with a crime related to 2021 insurrection or to his attempts to circumvent the peaceful transfer of power to overturn the results of the presidential election in 2020.
That being said, Jack Smith, a special counsel, recently interviewed several of the high-profile allies to Trump who were allegedly involved in the events that day. One of those people was Trump’s former personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
At the same time, Trump has been charged with 37 federal criminal counts related to possessing sensitive and classified documents at his Florida Mar-a-Lago home. A majority of those charges – 31 counts in all – relate to violations of the Espionage Act for willful retention of national defense information.
Trump has also been indicted on state charges in New York related to his business dealings.