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First riot charges after storming US Capitol

First riot charges after storming US Capitol

In the US, charges of rioting have been imposed for the first time in connection with the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. As the US Department of Justice announced on Thursday, the founder of the right-wing militia Oath Keepers and ten other people are accused of a “seditious conspiracy”. 56-year-old Stewart Rhodes, who leads the militia, was arrested Thursday in the state of Texas, the Justice Department said. The legal term “seditious conspiracy” includes, among other things, attempting to overthrow the US government by force. The accused face up to 20 years in prison. The Oath Keepers accuse the Washington government of violating their rights. The group focuses on recruiting police officers, soldiers and paramedics. Thousands of supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the seat of parliament just over a year ago. Their goal was to prevent Congress from confirming current President Joe Biden’s election victory. Four rioters died, as did a police officer a little later. Around 140 police officers were injured, four have since taken their lives. Hundreds of suspected rioters have been charged so far. On the anniversary of the incident, President Joe Biden blamed his predecessor Trump for the storm and criticized him with harsh words. Justice Secretary Merrick Garland said the judiciary was determined to hold all perpetrators to account, “whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the attack on our democracy.”

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