Even right-wing militia leaders have to shoot their shots, I guess.
Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers, was going to be indicted. So his lawyer tweeted at Tucker Carlson
Time to Log Off is a weekly series documenting the many ways our political figures show their whole asses online.
On Thursday afternoon, federal prosecutors announced that Stewart Rhodes, founding leader of the extreme-right “Oath Keepers” militia, had been indicted for “seditious conspiracy” and a host of other charges stemming from his and his group’s involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol.
That Rhodes, along with a handful of other militiamen, is now the first person to seriously face sedition charges in more than 30 years is, in and of itself, a significant step forward in what’s largely been seen as an otherwise lackluster prosecution of those involved in former President Donald Trump’s attempted coup. Per a Department of Justice press release:
The seditious conspiracy indictment alleges that, following the Nov. 3, 2020, presidential election, Rhodes conspired with his co-defendants and others to oppose by force the execution of the laws governing the transfer of presidential power by Jan. 20, 2021. Beginning in late December 2020, via encrypted and private communications applications, Rhodes and various co-conspirators coordinated and planned to travel to Washington, D.C., on or around Jan. 6, 2021, the date of the certification of the electoral college vote, the indictment alleges. Rhodes and several co-conspirators made plans to bring weapons to the area to support the operation. The co-conspirators then traveled across the country to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area in early January 2021.
So, yes, pretty serious stuff — which had only been hinted at by prosecutors until now — and the sort of development that undercuts Republicans’ efforts to paint the insurrection attempt as an impromptu episode of mass hysteria (if they acknowledge it even happened at all). But the announcement of the charges against Rhodes are all the more pointedly noteworthy given the following tweet from his lawyer, Jonathon Moseley, just hours before Rhodes was taken into custody outside of Dallas, Texas.
Tucker! Oh, 🎶Tuuuuucker🎶! Yoo-hoo! My militia-leading client would looove to come on your white nationalist power hour and chat all about how corrupt the Department of Justice really is!
Talk about timing.
In fact, during the days leading up to Rhodes’s arrest, Moseley had repeatedly tweeted insinuations that his client was ready to split this whole insurrection conspiracy wide open, saying at one point that “he won’t ‘spill’ unless you think telling the truth that exonerates [far-right Trump associates Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, and Ali Alexander] is ‘spilling.’”
“Stewart Rhodes will tell the truth, which will make you cry,” he added.
In an interview with the far-right conspiracy site National File on Thursday, Moseley claimed that he’d been on the phone with Rhodes at the time of his arrest, and that the whole thing was likely a long time coming, insisting that “this is too fast for them to put this together and then arrest him, unless they’ve had an indictment sitting under seal.” To which I say ... yeah, probably! That’s kind of how this stuff works, man; prosecutors work on an indictment through a long exhaustive process of investigation and legal reasoning, and then only when it’s ready do they actually act. Aren’t you a lawyer? Shouldn’t you know this stuff?
In any case. According to the DOJ’s indictment, Rhodes not only encouraged and organized a secret plan to oppose the transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden by force, but also conspired with people who sent around photographs of their plans, handwritten in cursive script, since “messages in cursive [...] eliminate digital reads.” Hoo boy.
Late last year, Rhodes’s estranged wife Tasha Adams mused that the reason Rhodes hadn’t been arrested yet for his role in the capitol insurrection was that “he is very good at getting others to take the risks.” Be that as it may, it seems he’s not quite good enough. And not even his lawyer desperately tweeting at cable news hosts can fix that.