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Militia leader charged with Jan. 6 sedition to remain locked up

by MALATHI NAYAK Bloomberg News
| February 22, 2022 7:00 AM

Bloomberg News (TNS)

WASHINGTON — Elmer Stewart Rhodes, the Yale Law School graduate who founded the right-wing Oath Keepers militia group, lost his bid to be freed from jail while he awaits a trial for seditious conspiracy over his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington sided Friday with federal prosecutors who argued that the serious charges Rhodes faces along with 10 members of his group warrants keeping him in custody.

Rhodes "will remain detained" as prosecutors have shown enough evidence of his "dangerousness" that could lead him to potentially cause harm to others, Mehta said.

Rhodes, who has pleaded not guilty, is among more than 700 people who have been charged with an array of offenses for the storming of the Capitol by a mob of former President Donald Trump's supporters.

Rhodes, who was arrested on Jan. 13 in Little Elm, Texas, is currently detained in Texas.

The U.S. alleges that the days before the insurrection, the men accused in the sedition case allegedly set up staging areas for equipment in Washington's suburbs and organized training sessions to teach paramilitary combat tactics. They also brought gear including knives, batons, tactical vests, helmets, eye protection and radio equipment onto the Capitol grounds, according to the indictment.

Also on Friday, Mehta ruled in a separate case that Trump must face lawsuits accusing him of inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection, rejecting the former president's immunity and free-speech arguments.