U.S. trial of Oath Keepers founder Rhodes delayed after he gets COVID

The criminal trial of Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the Oath Keepers right-wing militia group, and four associates over their roles in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol was delayed on Monday after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Rhodes and his four co-defendants – Jessica Watkins, Thomas Caldwell, Kenneth Harrelson and Kelly Meggs – are charged with seditious conspiracy, a rarely prosecuted crime defined as attempting “to overthrow, put down or to destroy by force the government of the United States.”

Rhodes remains in “total isolation” in jail, his lawyers said. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta asked the parties to return on Tuesday morning to discuss how to proceed with the trial, which began last month.

Members of the Oath Keepers were among the supporters of Republican then-President Donald Trump who stormed the Capitol, attacked police and sent members of Congress scrambling for their safety in a failed effort to prevent lawmakers from certifying his 2020 U.S. election loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

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