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The Oath Keepers Got Convicted. Now What?

But much more basically, Hughes stated, the convictions ought to function a reminder that regardless of what number of legal convictions the Justice Department secures, the U.S. isn’t going to prosecute its method out of its extremism disaster.

“It is important that the U.S. government put its finger on the scale and said that the events of Jan. 6 were unacceptable,” stated Hughes, “but I’m not sure it stops the growing tide of extremism.”

The following has been edited for readability and concision.

Ian Ward: Were you stunned by any a part of Tuesday’s verdict?

Seamus Hughes: I believe it was going to be a tough case to start with, and we’ve seen sedition costs not come to fruition on the finish. But previously, when [the Department of Justice] has charged somebody with seditious conspiracy, the conspiracy didn’t actually occur, that means it by no means got here to fruition. With this one, it really did, in order that made prosecuting the case a bit bit simpler.

Ward: How will these convictions have an effect on the instant operations of the Oath Keepers?

Hughes: The Oath Keepers have been already on the ropes to start with. For occasion, evaluate the Oath Keepers to the Proud Boys. The Oath Keepers are far more of a top-down group run by Rhodes, whereas the Proud Boys after Jan. 6 have regressed to a state-level mannequin. There’s a bit resiliency within the system. If Rhodes goes [to prison] — which he’s clearly going to — the Oath Keepers don’t have a lot of a bench.

Ward: How have the Oath Keepers and different right-wing extremist teams reacted to the trial?

Hughes: It’s been all around the map, however there have been some recurring themes. One of the primary themes was that [Jan. 6] was a false flag operation — that it was far-left extremists who have been riling up the gang. That narrative has largely fallen by the wayside, and now the overarching theme is that that is authorities overreach. The U.S. authorities has prosecuted and charged greater than 900 folks for crimes associated to Jan. 6, and the investigations are nonetheless ongoing. In far-right extremism circles, the query is, “Why has the FBI launched the largest investigation in its history — even larger than 9/11? Why do they have 15,000 hours of body cam video? Why are they focusing only on us?”

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