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Attorney Says Arrest Of Oath Keepers Founder Elmer Rhodes In Little Elm Is Result Of Political Pressure From Democrats

UPDATE: Judge Orders Oath Keepers Founder Elmer Rhodes Detained In Federal Custody Following Seditious Conspiracy Arrest

LITTLE ELM, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - They are the most serious charges yet to come from the riot last year at the U.S. Capitol.

And one of those indicted for an act of sedition against the U.S. government was arrested Thursday, Jan. 13 in North Texas.

Elmer Stewart Rhodes is the founder and leader of a far right wing group called the Oath Keepers.

CBS 11 spoke with Rhodes' attorney who said he believes the arrest of the Oath Keepers leader was the result of political pressure from Democratic leaders who have recently said they want to see some of the January 6th rioters to face sedition charges to support the argument that what happened at the U.S. Capitol was indeed an insurrection.

"You kind of think you seen everything, but I was on the phone talking to Stewart Rhodes about different legal matters when the FBI called him from outside his home and asked him to come out and put his hands up," said attorney Jon Moseley describing the moment the FBI descended on this home in Little Elm to serve an arrest warrant on Rhodes.

stewart rhodes mugshot
Elmer Stewart Rhodes III was arrested on seditious conspiracy charges. (credit: Collin County Jail)

The 56-year-old never entered the Capitol on January 6, 2021, but federal authorities say in his role as the leader of the Oath Keepers, Rhodes incited a rebellion against the U.S. government by organizing a militia.

"I don't think any of these charges can be proven at trial," said Moseley. "He thought it was dumb for them to go to the Capitol, he's like 'I didn't go into the Capitol because I'm not dumb ,I'm not going to do that'."

Eight other members of the Oath Keepers have also been indicted.

After his arrest, Rhodes was taken to the Collin County Jail while authorities searched the home of a couple he was staying with.

Neighbors like Justin Lay snapped photos of the raid and later took in the unusual scene with their kids.

"I don't think they've ever seen anything this serious happen this close to us," said Lay. "I hope they can kind of learn from it a little bit because for us it's kind of history right?"

Rhodes will have his initial court appearance Friday afternoon in Plano.


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