The US Department of Justice is reportedly seeking longer prison sentences for eight members of a far-right anti-government militia convicted of treason in connection with the January 6 attack.
The federal prosecutor’s office has filed a lawsuit short documents in the case of Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes and other members of the group, whose sentences were less than what the government had asked a judge to do.
In documents leading to his conviction in May, prosecutors asked that Rhodes should be sentenced to 25 years in prison, arguing in the court filings that “the need to deter others is particularly great” because he “committed acts.” , aimed at intimidating or coercing the government.” .”
“In other words, terrorism,” prosecutors wrote.
Finally, on May 25, Rhodes was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Kelly Meggs received a 12-year sentence. Prosecutors were looking for 21.
“Our notice merely preserves our ability to file an appeal,” Patricia Hartman, spokeswoman for the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, said in a statement Statement to CNNwhich reported the appeal first.
No rationale or legal arguments were presented in the filing for the notice, but the appeal will keep alive a case that has tested the scope of the rare allegation of seditious conspiracy – which U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta Rhodes warned belongs “to the most serious crimes”. “an American can commit” when announcing his 18-year sentence.
“You, sir, pose a constant threat and danger to this country, its democracy and the very fabric of this country,” the judge said during the sentencing hearing. “They are smart, persuasive and charismatic. Honestly, that’s what makes you dangerous.”
The verdicts against Rhodes and Meggs were the first ever to find that a defendant involved in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol “equated to terrorism” and an upward deviation, according to the Justice Department justified by sentencing guidelines.
After the verdicts were announced, US Attorney General Merrick Garland said the verdicts “reflected the serious threat that the actions of these defendants posed to our democratic institutions.”
More than a dozen people have been charged with seditious conspiracy related to the Capitol riots.