Washington DC, Mar 2 (EFE).- A member of the American far-right Oath Keepers group became the first person Wednesday to plead guilty to seditious conspiracy charges for his role in the assault on the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021.
Joshua James, 34, the group’s leader in Alabama state, pleaded guilty before a federal court in Washington for seditious conspiracy, a crime that carries a maximum 20-year jail sentence.
In his guilty plea, he admitted that “from November 2020 through January 2021, he conspired with other Oath Keeper members and affiliates to use force to prevent, hinder and delay the execution of the laws of the United States governing the transfer of presidential power,” the US department of justice said in a press release on its website.
James, a former military veteran of the Iraq war, also agreed to collaborate with the justice department.
Ten other members of the group, including its national leader and founder, Stewart Rhodes, are also charged with seditious conspiracy.
In its release, the department described the Oath Keepers as “a large but loosely organized collection of individuals, some of whom are associated with militias.”
“Though the Oath Keepers will accept anyone as members, they explicitly focus on recruiting current and former military, law enforcement, and first-responder personnel,” it added.
More than 750 people have been arrested on charges relating to the assault on the Capitol building out of which 235 have been charged with “assaulting or impeding law enforcement,” according to the department.
The longest sentence for the Capitol assault, in which five people died and 140 police officials were injured, was handed to a man who attacked security agents with a fire extinguisher. He was sentenced to five years and three months in prison.
On Jan. 6, 2021, some 10,000 people – most of them supporters of former US President Donald Trump who had been fired up by the then-president himself and other speakers – marched to the Capitol and some 800 broke into the building to try and halt the certification of the November 2020 presidential election in which Democrat Joe Biden defeated Trump. EFE