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IPFS News Link • Courtroom and Trials

Stewart Rhodes says fellow Oath Keepers were 'stupid' to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6

• NBC News

WASHINGTON — Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes told jurors at his seditious conspiracy trial Monday that other members of the far-right group who stormed the U.S. Capitol were "off-mission" and insisted he was not engaged in any operation to forcefully oppose the federal government on Jan. 6.

"I had no idea that any Oath Keeper was even thinking about going inside or would go inside," Rhodes said in his testimony in what has become a six-week-long trial for himself and co-defendants Kelly Meggs, Kenneth Harrelson, Jessica Watkins and Thomas Caldwell.

During hours of testimony, Rhodes told jurors that going into the Capitol was "stupid" because it "opened the door for our political enemies to persecute us, and that's what happened, and here we are."

Meggs, Harrelson and Watkins went inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Rhodes said that he was "concerned" on Jan. 6 that Oath Keepers would get caught up "in all the nonsense with the Trump supporters" around the Capitol and that he sent a message on the encrypted app Signal asking Oath Keepers to gather at a spot near the Capitol for that reason.