Some reflections on the Stewart Rhodes 18-year prison sentence
Steward Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers, was sentenced to 18-years in federal federal prison for seditious conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding, and tampering with documents or proceedings related to the January 6, 2001 protests. Rhodes was not in the Capitol on that date, hence the use of a “conspiracy” charge.
Here is the Merriam-Webster definition of sedition: "incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority."
The "lawful authority" in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021, comprised the Trump administration -- representing the executive branch; Congress, representing the legislature, and the Supreme Court of the United States, representing the judiciary. Joe Biden was not president on January 6, 2021, and, therefore could not be considered "lawful authority" on that date.
Mr. Biden, however, peacefully succeeded President Trump on January 20, 2021.
Here is the text of President Trump's Farewell Address, further evidence of the peaceful transition of presidential administrations. The Address began:
"My fellow Americans: Four years ago, we launched a great national effort to rebuild our country, to renew its spirit, and to restore the allegiance of this government to its citizens. In short, we embarked on a mission to make America great again — for all Americans.
"As I conclude my term as the 45th President of the United States, I stand before you truly proud of what we have achieved together. We did what we came here to do — and so much more.
"This week, we inaugurate a new administration and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous. We extend our best wishes, and we also want them to have luck — a very important word."
There is not the slightest suggestion in President Trump's Farewell Address urging resistance to the Biden administration -- unlike the demands for resistance that greeted President Trump's Inauguration.
The impetus for the January 6, 2021 protest at the Capitol was not resistance to lawful authority, but concern that the lawful processes of the presidential election of 2020 had been tossed aside.
Where is the indictment and prosecution of the 51 former intelligence officials for their skullduggery in fabricating a letter claiming that the published truth of the contents in Hunter Biden's laptop were Russian disinformation? This fabrication may well have fooled voters into casting Biden ballots.
If resisting lawful authority is a major concern of the DOJ, where are the sedition charges against violent demonstrators who, the summer of 2020, set fire at a police station and federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon?
The facts make it clear that "resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority" occurred throughout Mr. Trump's years in the White House, as indicated by The Durham Report which reveals that government officials were part of the anti-Trump resistance. Where are the indictments citing sedition charges against Messrs. Clapper, Comey, Brennan, Strzok, and the cabal that concocted the phony letter claiming that the New York Post report on Hunter Biden's laptop was just "Russian disinformation."
Consider the persecution inflicted on Socialist Eugene Victor Debs for opposing our entry into World War I. A federal judge, effectively acting on behalf of President Wilson, sentenced Debs to ten years in federal prison on a sedition charge. Debs was an early victim of the Sedition Act of 1918.
More than a century later, we have contemporary targets of that infamous statute.
The Wilson administration’s reputation has been diminished for treating Debs vindictively and harshly. As with Wilson, now Biden and Garland will face the judgment of history.
Photo credit: YouTube screengrab (cropped)