Justice Department threatens “trespassers” involved in January 6 protests with life in prison


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Justice Department is threatening Oath Keepers involved in the protests of January 6, 2021, with life in prison if they do not accept a plea deal.

In a letter dated May 2, 2022, prosecuting attorneys Kathryn L. Rakoczy and Justin Sher, writing on behalf of  United States Attorney Matthew Graves, detailed for Oath Keepers’ defense attorneys the charges and penalties planned for Oath Keepers who are facing trial over their actions on January 6.

According to American Greatness, three of twelve accused Oath Keepers have pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy, while nine remaining members have refused to accept a plea deal.

In addition:

“The Oath Keepers are not accused of carrying or using any weapons on January 6; none is charged with directly vandalizing government property.

“Two ‘stacks’ of Oath Keepers entered the building after the joint session of Congress recessed that afternoon and walked through open doors with police nearby.”

In the letter, Rokoczy and Sher write:

“As we stated at our last status hearing, the government has imposed a deadline for plea negotiations of May 6, 2022. 

“We write to advise you of the applicable penalties that could apply upon conviction at trial.”

The prosecutors go on to list seven violations, each of which carry a fine of $250,000 and maximum prison sentences of five to 20 years per offense.

The letter then turns to the issue of seditious conspiracy.

According to USLegal, seditious conspiracy is defined as:

“a crime that is committed when two or more persons conspire to forcibly: 

“a. destroy or overthrow the U.S. government; 

“b. create obstacles or prevent the execution of U.S. laws; 

“c. oppose the authority of the U.S. government; or 

“d. unlawfully possess or take property that belong to the nation.”

No American has been convicted of seditious conspiracy in the past.

One notable conviction for seditious conspiracy was in relation to Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, the “Blind Sheikh.”  In 1995, according to the Associated Press, Abdel-Rahman and his nine followers were convicted of seditious conspiracy for their plot to attack the United Nations, the FBI building, and two tunnels and a bridge.  Abdel-Rahman died in prison in 2017.

Regarding seditious conspiracy, the letter goes on to say that: 

“There is no guideline provision expressly promulgated for seditious conspiracy. 

“Under U.S.S.G. 2X5.1, where available, the Court should apply the most analogous offense


“The United States takes the position that the most analogous offense to seditious

conspiracy is “Treason,” under U.S.S.G. 2M1.1.”


The letter continues by saying that if the Oath Keepers are found to have had “conduct that is ‘tantamount to waging war against the United States,’” the Sentencing Guidelines would recommend a life sentence.

Finally, the letter ends with a notation that if the Oath Keepers are convicted of a felony involving “terrorism,” the sentence will be enhanced, and then it suggests the defendants’ attorneys contact Graves, Rakoczy, and Sher regarding a plea offer.

According to the Washington Post, a trial for five Oath Keepers, including founder Stuart Rhodes, who were charged with seditious conspiracy has been moved from July 11 to mid-to-late September 2022.

US v Rhodes – Letter Regard… by American Greatness

The delay is to allow defendants to review “critical texts and encrypted messages.”

The Post adds:

“Rhodes has denied wrongdoing, including in an interview with The Washington Post in March 2021, saying there was no plan to breach the Capitol. 

“He has said the group staged firearms in Northern Virginia in case it was needed as a ‘quick reaction force’ if President Donald Trump invoked the Insurrection Act and mobilized to to keep himself in office.”

At this point, the nine Oath Keepers who are facing trial have pled not guilty.  There appear to be no reports at this time as to the defense attorneys’ response to the letter from Graves, Rakoczy, and Sher.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

First January 6 defendant receives outright acquittal, judge says he “reasonably believed” Capitol Police permitted entry

Originally published April 10, 2022

The following contains editorial content within which is the opinion of the author, a staff writer for Law Enforcement Today. 

WASHINGTON, DC- In a win for justice and the rule of law, a Washington, DC judge acquitted a New Mexico man who was arrested in connection with basically “trespassing” at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, an incident which partisan Democrats and their media bootlickers have referred to as an “insurrection.”

The Daily Wire reports that Matthew Martin, who “reasonably believed” he was permitted inside the Capitol building on that date by U.S. Capitol Police officers, was cleared of all charges by Judge Trevor McFadden, who “issued the verdict from the bench after hearing testimony without a jury in the case” against him, as reported in The Washington Post.

The Daily Wire noted that Martin was the first defendant in the January 6 siege to testify in their own defense. Martin argued that he was allowed inside the facility by the Capitol Police, saying he “’went with the flow’ as he approached the Capitol and testified that he saw a police officer wave him into the building.” According to evidence presented, Martin was only in the Capitol building for approximately 10 minutes.

According to the Post:

Martin was charged with four misdemeanor counts: entering and remaining in a restricted building, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.

 Buzzfeed expanded on the details behind Judge McFadden’s verdict:

Announcing his decision from the bench, US District Judge Trevor McFadden said that although prosecutors argued there were numerous instances when Martin would have been aware that he wasn’t allowed on Capitol grounds or inside the building—as he walked past fences with signs saying “AREA CLOSED” and recorded video of a broken window, blaring alarms, police in riot gear, and people who appeared to have encountered tear gas—those were outweighed by Martin’s “plausible” belief that he had permission because officers didn’t try to stop him from entering.

McFadden said that Martin’s conduct was as “minimal and non-serious” as the judge could imagine for someone who went into the Capitol on Jan. 6. He said that Martin seemed to be a “silent observer” of the scene and didn’t try to crowd the police, protest, or wave the “Trump” flag that he was carrying. Martin appeared “quiet” and “orderly” as he walked inside the building, filmed video inside the Rotunda similar to how the media would behave, and didn’t appear to interfere with officers as he filmed a clash with rioters later in the afternoon on a north terrace of the building.

The Washington Post  reported that “More than 770 people have been charged with riot-related crimes. Over 240 of them have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanors, and over 140 of them have been sentenced.”

Buzzfeed further noted that the verdict “represented an early test of efforts by some Jan. 6 defendants to argue that police allowed them to enter the Capitol, or that they believed they had permission because no officer told them to stop.”

As Sean Davis, the CEO and co-founder of The Federalist wrote on Twitter:

“This acknowledgment of reality—that it’s not a crime to walk through a door held open for you by police—is fatal to the corrupt government’s entire J6 narrative. It’s also why DOJ has criminally abused defendants to force plea deals: DOJ knows its cases are garbage.”


For more on January 6, we invite you to:


WASHINGTON, DC- Since January 6, Democrats and their state-run mainstream media bootlickers have tried to portray the January 6 US Capitol siege as an “insurrection,” as the “biggest threat to American democracy since the Civil War,” according to Joe Biden, other Democrats and their media collaborators.

That narrative was pushed by carefully released videos from the Department of Justice which only seemed to show violent confrontations between law enforcement and some protesters, and happily shared by the mainstream media.

Newly released videos totally debunk that narrative.

In fact, here’s a video showing the “violent insurrectionists” on their way to “storm” the Capitol:

With thousands of hours of video surveillance available, many questioned why the government wasn’t releasing all of the footage.

After all, didn’t the American people deserve to see how close we were to losing our country by a few thousand mostly senior citizens with American flags?

One would think that the government would be anxious to prove their case. So it was rather confusing why there seemed to be an attempt by the government to hide those videos. Now, we know why.

The Western Journal reported on Friday that one case involving one of the “violent insurrectionists” was particularly confusing to the presiding judge in the case, who ordered the release of a video showing him inside the Capitol.

The video showed what amounted to a field trip through the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl Howell ordered the video’s release after a number of media organizations, including BuzzFeed asked for the video’s release which prosecutors used in order to determine the culpability of defendants, in this case a man named Eric Torrens.

On August 19, Torrens pled guilty to a single count of illegally parading, demonstrating or picketing inside the Capitol as part of a plea bargain. Wow, that sounds pretty insurrection-like.

“He admitted entering the building through a broken door and walking around. The government noted in court papers that Capitol surveillance cameras recorded his entry into the building as well as his movements inside,” Zoe Tillman of BuzzFeed reported earlier this week.

“Prosecutors cited four other videos they obtained related to Torrens, including one that showed him saying, ‘We goin’ in!”

Sounds pretty violent, right? Sure, there were some idiots in the crowd who engaged in violent behavior, including assaulting police officers which is unacceptable, and those people should be dealt with in an appropriate manner.

For people such as Torrens however, their entry into the Capitol, although poorly thought out, certainly didn’t rise to the level of an “insurrection.”

It was the government’s case involving Torrens that led to Howell issuing the release of the videos showing him inside the Capitol. Put it this way, the video was a snoozer.

“Before Torrens’ plea hearing, Howell asked to see videos that the government relied on in describing Torrens’ conduct. She also asked the parties to weigh in on whether those videos should be released to the public,” according to BuzzFeed.

“At the plea hearing, Howell noted that there was a presumption in favor of access to judicial proceedings and that the public had an interest in materials that were submitted in court, that judges relied on in making decisions, and that shed light on how prosecutors exercised discretion in criminal cases.”

The prosecution (DOJ) attempted to claim that the videos showed information, such as “secret” entrances and exits to the Capitol that were unknown to the general public and their release would “compromise the security of the United States Capitol and those who work there.”

“This footage, when combined with other footage from nearby cameras, could be used to track individual rioters moving through the building thereby creating a visual pathway which other bad actors could use in planning their breach point and pathway for future attacks,” they argued.

Howell last week decided the government’s “argument” is as absurd as it sounds and ordered the release of the videos, noting that they didn’t show “sensitive” parts of the Capitol and would be easily seen by the public on a public tour.

“Hundreds of cases have arisen from the events of January 6, with new cases being brought and pending cases being resolved by plea agreement every week,” Howell wrote.

“The public has an interest in understanding the conduct underlying the charges in these cases, as well as the government’s prosecutorial decision-making both in bringing criminal charges and resolving these charges by entering into plea agreements with defendants,” she said.

While the selected previously released videos only showed the violent protesters who were involved in the Capitol siege, the videos released and obtained by outlets such as BuzzFeed showed people calmly walking around the Capitol, as if they were on a public tour of the building, hardly a “violent” uprising.

As of this writing, some 650 people have been charged for entering the Capitol on Jan. 6, yet as the newly released videos show, certainly not all of them and likely few of them were engaged in violence.

The fact that the government is kicking and screaming about releasing ALL of the videos of the incident is telling. As the videos in Torrens’ case show, there was a lot more to the incident than has been carefully scripted by Biden’s Justice Department and the mainstream media.

As The Western Journal notes, “the fact that government officials wanted these videos suppressed because they represented some kind of ‘security’ threat—when they clearly didn’t—indicates how desperate they are to curate the narrative that they were far more of the former when what we see instead is a lot of the latter.”

Writing in American Greatness last May, Julie Kelly cites an affidavit filed by Thomas DiBiase, general counsel of the Capitol Police Department which notes the building is monitored 24/7 by “an extensive system of cameras,” positioned both inside and outside the building.

She noted that the system captured over 14,000 hours of footage between noon and 8:00 p.m. on January 6, 2021. She noted the archive has been made available to two Democrat-controlled congressional committees, the FBI and the DC Metro Police Department.

The affidavit sought to suppress the public release of any footage, claiming the release could “provoke further violence.”

“The Department has significant concerns with the release of any of its footage do defendants in the Capitol attack cases unless there are safeguards in place to prevent its copying and dissemination,” DiBiase wrote on March 17. 

“Our concern is that providing unfettered access to extremely sensitive information to defendants who already have shown a desire to interfere with the democratic process will…[be] passed on to those who might wish to attack the Capitol again.” 

We challenge the government to release ALL of the video surveillance from January 6. Transparency, right?


Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.  

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing!  (See image below.)  Thanks for being a part of the LET family!
Facebook Follow First
Submit a Correction
Related Posts