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Stewart Rhodes tests covid-positive, delaying seditious conspiracy trial

Mandatory quarantine will prevent Rhodes from attending his trial for at least a week, but he may waive his presence for some days this week

Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers, at a rally outside the White House on June 25, 2017. (Susan Walsh/AP)

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, 56, has tested positive for the coronavirus in jail, his lawyers said Monday, delaying his trial on a seditious conspiracy charge stemming from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta on Monday morning recessed trial for Rhodes and four others for the day. Monday would have been the start of the fourth week of testimony for the trial in Washington, and prosecutors had hoped to complete the government’s case by Friday.

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What to know about the Oath Keepers sedition trial

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Who are the Oath Keepers going to trial on seditious conspiracy charges?

Mehta said jail quarantine protocols do not permit Rhodes to participate in his trial by video conference or to be transported to court for at least a week. But if Rhodes agreed Tuesday morning, his lawyers said he could waive his in-person presence and allow testimony to continue over two or three days by government witnesses his defense did not expect to need to cross-examine.

“The upshot is, stay tuned,” Mehta said.

The Oath Keepers trial

The latest: In a second sedition trial, four members of the far-right Oath Keepers group were convicted of seditious conspiracy. Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes was found guilty of seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack.

How did we get here: Stewart Rhodes and other members of his group were charged with seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Who is involved: A 13-count indictment charges Stewart Rhodes and eight others with conspiring to use force to oppose the lawful transfer of power to President Biden. Here are the nine Oath Keepers on trial.

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