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Who is Stewart Rhodes? Report explores top Oath Keeper's ties to FBI, Jan. 6

Stewart Rhodes
by WorldTribune Staff, June 30, 2021

The Department of Justice has come down hard on many Oath Keepers following the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Stewart Rhodes is the "founder, boss and kingpin" of the Oath Keepers, Revolver News noted in a June 30 analysis.

“[Stewart Rhodes] is the Oath Keepers. It’s hard to separate the two,” Oath Keepers board member Richard Mack said. “It’s his organization, and he can do what he wants to do.”

The Oath Keepers, in fact, are the most extensively prosecuted paramilitary group alleged to be involved in the so-called “pre-planned assault” on the Capitol.

That being the case, why isn't Stewart Rhodes in jail? Is he tied to the feds?

In a March 8 court filing, the DOJ argues that Rhodes "both substantially organized and activated an imputed plan to use violence, on 1/6, in real-time, through a series of encrypted Signal messages beginning at 1:38 p.m., as Trump concluded his rally speech on the National Mall, and 62 minutes before Oath Keepers lieutenants allegedly formed a 'military stack' to rush the Capitol doors."

Revolver noted that these facts as the DOJ alleges, "are more than legally sufficient to secure an indictment" against Rhodes.

"But readers must understand this: the only reason Stewart Rhodes is not in jail *right now* is because of a deliberate decision by the Justice Department to protect him," the report noted.

It is that federal protection of the Oath Keepers' kingpin that "breaks the entire Capitol 'insurrection' lie wide open," the report added. "If it turns out that Stewart Rhodes has had a relationship with the federal government, the implications would be nothing short of staggering."

Related: What was FBI’s role in Jan. 6 ‘insurrection’? Reports raise new questions, June 16, 2021

The report posed the following questions for which the American people deserve answers:

• Does the FBI now, or has it ever, maintained a formal or informal relationship or point of contact with Stewart Rhodes, whether directly or indirectly, including through intermediaries?

• Do any other Federal counterintelligence equities, whether in military, intelligence or law enforcement, including but not limited to Army Counterintelligence, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), or otherwise, maintain or have they ever maintained a formal or informal relationship with Stewart Rhodes, whether directly or indirectly, including through intermediaries?

• If such a confidential relationship did exist between Stewart Rhodes and one or more U.S. counterintelligence equities, how do the FBI and other responsible agencies reconcile the enormous gravity of this omission from their previous deflections, non-answers, and boilerplate that they had “no actionable intelligence” before 1/6?

• If such a confidential relationship did exist between Stewart Rhodes and one or more U.S. counterintelligence equities, does this explain the FBI and Justice Department’s failure to pursue criminal actions against Stewart Rhodes in similarly high-profile “right-wing conspiracy plots” in which Rhodes appears to have played a similarly driving role?

• More specifically, did the FBI or any other U.S. counterintelligence equities maintain a discrete or confidential relationship with Stewart Rhodes during the 2014 Bundy Ranch standoff? Was this fact dispositive in the Justice Department’s decision to charge 19 defendants — including certain of Stewart Rhodes’s alleged Oath Keepers underlings — for conspiracy to obstruct a legal proceeding, and to spare Rhodes of similar charges?

• Has the FBI even procured a search warrant for Stewart Rhodes’s personal residence and home electronics? If so, on what dates and what specific categories of evidence were sought?

• If Stewart Rhodes is subsequently arrested after the date of this report (given the pressure these revelations are likely to generate), how does the Justice Department explain its failure to indict Stewart Rhodes on conspiracy charges for nearly six months, when its declared purpose for seeking bail denial for simple trespassers was the DOJ’s stated need to prevent “the immediate danger to the community” defendants allegedly posed? Given that multiple Oath Keepers were charged before the January 20th inauguration citing the need to stop their “immediate danger,” why did the DOJ not file immediate charges against Rhodes, and then make a superseding indictment later in time, as is their routine practice in 1/6 cases?

Revolver goes on to point out: "Irrespective of what happens going forward in terms of indictments, we believe that the evidence provided" in the article "overwhelmingly suggests Rhodes is a federal operative of some kind. The fact that he hasn’t been indicted as of June 30, 2021, in light of additional context" provided in the article, "is the argument."

(Read the Revolver article in full here.)

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