High-profile Oath Keepers seditious conspiracy trial after three days of interrogation

Washington Twelve Washington, D.C. residents have been chosen from a pool of dozens to serve as a jury in the largest-ever trial in the Justice Department’s extensive investigation. January 6, 2021, Attack on the US Capitol,

The jury for the five defendants was selected by prosecutors and defense attorneys; a member of swearers The group accused former President Donald Trump of forcibly opposing the peaceful transfer of power to President Joe Biden during a joint session of Congress held to certify the 2020 election results.

The high-profile trial – which is set to resume with preliminary arguments on Monday – will be a test for the Justice Department Charging Stewart Rhodes, Founder of Oath Keepers And his allies, along with the seditious conspiracy, resulted in the January 6 Capitol attack, the most serious charges ever leveled.

Rhodes and Florida residents Kelly Meigs and Kenneth Harrelson; Jessica Watkins of Ohio; and Thomas Caldwell, of Virginia, were all charged with planning the attack along with other Oath Keepers in the months before January 6, including allegedly storing weapons in a Washington, D.C.-area hotel room and in the Capitol and It involves coordinating movements around him. riots. All five pleaded not guilty to the multiple-count indictment against them.

Capitol Riot Oath Keepers
Members of the Oath Keepers on the Eastern Front of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington.

Manuel Balce Seneta / AP

Also under pressure from the ongoing trial with jury selection was the federal court of Washington, D.C., a newly-incorporated group of twelve jurors as well as four alternatives to sit as impartial arbitrators on the politically charged trial. was tasked with finding the one, which is scheduled to last longer than this. one month.

Over the course of three days, Judge Amit Mehta and lawyers conducted background checks on residents selected as potential jurors in the case.

He was asked about his views on the January 6 attack – most said it was either upsetting or disappointing – and whether he had any acquaintance with the Oath Keepers group, a loose-knit group of right-wing, anti-Semitism. group is described. Government extremists. The attorney also gave people his views about Trump and his supporters.

The jurors were not required to have a neutral view of the attack or to have any prior knowledge of the militia group to be considered eligible. Instead, the court pressured them to dispel any preconceived notions of whether they could maintain a neutral stance toward the evidence presented at trial, some said, on Trump, Jan. 6, or the defendants themselves. He found it very difficult to look at the ideas.

And in some instances, defense lawyers asked residents about their social media habits, presenting the court with snippets from a person’s social media posts found online during questioning.

The potential jurors who faced questioning have held a range of positions in and around government service—from a USAID employee to a lawyer working for the Department of Labor. Many had connections to the Capitol itself, either through friends or neighbors, and even, in one case, internships in college.

And while the general consensus among the group was that the events of January 6 were “very disturbing”, some said they had not taken any news that day and were not interested in the ensuing coverage. News, said a jury member who was later pardoned was “boring and old-fashioned”.

Ultimately, the group surveyed was reduced to a final 12 jury members, which included individuals who participated in rallies for women’s rights in the nation’s capital, worked for the TSA or the State Department, and their Relatives who served in law enforcement.

Some are parents of children, while others have parents who were prosecutors in another state.

Despite the diversity, those selected had told Mehta that they felt they could be impartial when evaluating evidence in the trial, which is set to begin on Monday.

Prosecutors said their initial arguments would take more than an hour, after which each defendant’s team would have an opportunity to present their response.

The government alleged and this jury would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the group’s planning, communication and coordination were important components of the chaos that occurred that day and were meant to obstruct both the legitimate work of Congress and the peaceful transfer of power. . , Defense lawyers have indicated they will argue that the sworn guard was not present to riot or protest Mr Biden’s presidency on 6 January, but to provide protection and first aid to protesters and those speaking at rallies in support of Trump. Huh. Other lawyers have asked the court to allow him to invoke the Insurgency Act as a defense, arguing that his client was waiting for the former president to call on militia groups to take action, a call. who never came.

Before sacking the newly-selected jury for the day on Thursday, Mehta said he was sure he did not expect at the start of the week to engage in such a trial. After the jury delivered its verdict – whatever it may be – Mehta and the Court House resumed the entire process as four more alleged sworn guards were charged with conspiracy to sedition.

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