Oath Keepers' founder will put Donald Trump at the center of his defense as he faces seditious conspiracy charges stemming from the Capitol riot

Five Oath Keepers will face trial on seditious conspiracy charges starting Monday.
Founder Stewart Rhodes will argue that he believed Trump would invoke the Insurrection Act on Jan. 6.
Rhodes' defense strategy is highly unusual, his attorneys said.
Lawyers for Oath Keepers founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes want to argue that he shouldn't be convicted of charges related to the Capitol riots because he awaited orders from then-President Donald Trump, which never came, reports the Associated Press .
Rhodes, who has been charged with seditious conspiracy, plans to take a stand to argue he believed Trump would invoke the Insurrection Act and call in a militia to help him stop the certification of Biden's victory, his attorneys said, per the AP.
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Rhodes is one of five members of the far-right group on trial for seditious conspiracy. The opening speech for the trial is scheduled to begin on Monday.
The Oath Keepers face the most serious charges in an indictment over the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, and Rhodes' defense strategy is unusual.
"This is an incredibly complicated theory defense and I don't think it's ever been played that way in American jurisprudence," James Lee Bright, one of Rhodes' attorneys, told the AP.
The leader of the Oath Keepers faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty
US President Donald Trump speaks to supporters of The Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
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The Insurrection Act is a law that authorizes the President to use the military to quell civil unrest.
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The seditious conspiracy charge alleges not just a breach of the law but an attack on American democracy itself, legal experts have said.
For the Ministry of Justice, the process is associated with particularly high stakes. While the maximum sentence of 20 years is the same as or less than many other federal crimes, the seditious conspiracy charge has legal and symbolic significance — alleging not just a violation of the law but an attack on American democracy itself, legal experts said , wrote Insider's C. Ryan Barber.
Rhodes' lawyers must prove that his actions were not seditious as he acted in anticipation of what he believed would become lawful.
"What the government alleges was a conspiracy to defy United States law was actually lobbying and preparation for the President to use a United States law to take lawful action," Rhodes' attorneys said. Bright and Phillip Linder, in a court filing for The Guardian.
Bright said Rhodes, a Yale Law School graduate, understands the risks of testimony but wants "to take his place," according to the AP.
Prosecutors are accusing the Oath Keepers of being involved in a plan to halt the certification of Joe Biden's win.
Members of the group have been amassing weapons at a hotel near Washington, DC, and preparing so-called "rapid reaction" teams, prosecutors said.
Rhodes did not break into the Capitol himself on Jan. 6, but entered restricted areas outside the building, prosecutors said.
The trial is expected to take between four and six weeks, the New York Times reported.
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