The Department of Justice has filed almost 1,000 cases, and the number is increasing every week.
WASHINGTON — Four members of the Oath Keepers were convicted Monday of inflammatory conspiracy during the January 6, 2021 Capitol attack, in the second major trial of far-right extremists accused of plotting to forcibly keep President Donald Trump in power.
Verdict against Joseph Hackett of Sarasota, Florida; Roberto Minute of Prosper, Texas; David Merschel of Punta Gorda, Florida; and Edward Vallejo of Phoenix, weeks after another jury found group leader Stuart Rhodes guilty of a mob attack that prevented President Joe Biden’s electoral victory from being confirmed.
This is another major victory for the Justice Department, which is also seeking to convict the former Proud Boys leader and four associates of sedition. The trial of Enrique Tarrio and his aides began earlier this month in Washington and is expected to last several weeks.
CONNECTED: Biden marks two years since Capitol riots on Jan. 6
These are some of the most serious cases filed so far in the wide-ranging January 6 investigation, which continues to expand two years after the riots. The Department of Justice has filed almost 1,000 cases, and the number is increasing every week.
Defense lawyers tried to downplay the violent reports as mere bragging and said Oathkeepers were in Washington to provide security at pre-riot events. They took advantage of prosecutors’ lack of evidence that the oathkeepers had an explicit plan to storm the Capitol prior to January 6, and told the jury that the extremists who attacked the Capitol acted spontaneously, like thousands of other rioters.