Oath Keepers member to plead guilty to sedition in U.S. Capitol attack By Reuters

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, fellow British-Iranian leave Iran-state media By Reuters
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump react to tear gas during a clash with police officers in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis

By Jan Wolfe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A member of the far-right Oath Keepers militia group intends to admit to engaging in seditious conspiracy during last year’s attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to court papers, the latest in a string of courtroom victories for the Justice Department.

William Todd Wilson of North Carolina is due to plead guilty during a federal court hearing scheduled for 3 p.m. ET (1900 GMT) in Washington, according to a court filing. Wilson would become the third Oath Keepers defendant to plead guilty to seditious conspiracy and obstruction charges.

Several other defendants are still on track for a trial later this year, including Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the Oath Keepers.

An indictment against Rhodes and others unsealed in January is the only criminal case accusing participants in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack of engaging in seditious conspiracy, defined as attempting “to overthrow, put down or to destroy by force the government of the United States.”

About 800 people have been charged with a taking part in the Capitol riot in which supporters of Republican then-President Donald Trump tried to prevent formal congressional certification of his 2020 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden, attacking police and sending lawmakers scrambling for safety. Trump has made false claims that he lost due to widespread voting fraud.

According to prosecutors, Rhodes had warned his group to prepare for a “bloody and desperate fight” in the days leading up to the Capitol assault.

About 250 Capitol riot defendants have pleaded guilty so far.

The Justice Department has obtained convictions in all four Capitol riot cases that ended in a jury trial. Most recently, a jury on Monday convicted Thomas Webster, rejecting arguments that the former New York City police officer was acting in self-defense when he struck a Washington police officer with a flagpole and tackled him.

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