“I may go to jail soon,” Rhodes said, according to The Daily Beast’s Kelly Weill. “Not for anything I actually did, but for fabricated crimes. There are some oath guards currently, along with Proud Boys and other patriots, who sit in DC and despite the alleged right to trial before you are found guilty and the presumption of innocence, bail has been denied because the powers that be that doesn’t like their political views. “
He also claimed innocence for its members. “If we had actually intended to take over the Capitol, we would have taken it and brought weapons,” said Rhodes. “That’s why we weren’t there that day. We were there to protect Trump supporters from Antifa. “
Indeed, Rhodes is in real legal danger. Although federal charges against his cohorts Oath Keepers and Proud Boys have not personally named him, several of them refer to him as “Person 1,” a central actor in what prosecutors describe as a conspiracy to “stop, delay, or prevent Congress from confirming the election of the Congress College. “As Marcy Wheeler notes, Rhodes is implicated in both the Oath Guards charges and the separate complaint against member Robert Minuta, mainly for harassment of the police.
It is unclear who invited Rhodes to speak at the “We the People Stand for Border Security” rally in Laredo on March 26, and no official Republican units claimed to be involved, but numerous Republican leaders attended and spoke, including Texas GOP Chairman Allen West. West appeared on stage shortly before Rhodes and urged the audience to uphold “the rule of law”.
The rhetorical connective tissue between the crowd of the “border crisis” and the bloc of the “Capitol insurgents were the real patriots” is apparently a shared belief in a widespread conspiracy theory of the “Patriot” movement, according to which “Chinese communists” the Biden government and the Democratic Party Secretly Controlling the Party This has resulted in both the persecution of good American “patriots” and “open borders” policies designed to inundate the nation with immigrants.
The rally attended speakers who repeatedly claimed that immigration had gotten out of hand under President Biden. Rhodes was introduced by a speaker who acknowledged that “Oath Guardians get a bad rap,” but insisted: “These are real patriots who understand what the Constitution is and want to make sure that this Constitution is protected. So if you are looking for a line of defense against the communists, I would say that the reason the media hates Oath Guardians is because they stand in their way. “
Rhodes’ speech made similar claims, including his ongoing characterization of Biden and the Democrats as the “puppet” of the “Chinese Communists”.
“We are facing a communist overthrow of our nation and that is a fact,” said Rhodes, remembering the War of Independence to compare it to the present moment. “They now have a foreign power, the Chinese and the globalists who illegally installed their puppet, the ChiCom puppet Biden, through a stolen election.”
That was nothing new. At a “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington on December 12, Rhodes had characterized the Democratic government in identical terms and urged Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act to help him stay in power as the oath-keeper one To climb “much more desperate” ones [and] much bloodier war. “
The founder of Oath Keepers has been campaigning for a new American civil war for some time, which culminated this summer amid deadly shootings between pro-Trump patriots and left-wing counter-protesters. And according to his own knowledge, he could now face the consequences if he encourages his members to rebel in this process.
Furthermore, Rhodes’ inclusion in a ginned event of the “border crisis” speaks volumes about the nature of the disinformation and conspiracy-fueled alternate universe occupied by the post-Trump republican right. It is a truism in scientific research on conspiracy theories that conspirators never believe just one theory; Rather, the entire universe based on such an insane theory of knowledge is merging one after the other.
Allen West, the Texas GOP chairman who appears to have spearheaded the event, has a long history of disagreement with the extreme conspiratorial right. Most recently, he was among the leading Republicans campaigning for the secession of Texas from the United States, an idea largely promoted by right-wing extremists. He also dismissed the attack by a “Trump Train” caravan in Texas on a Biden / Harris campaign bus as “false news and propaganda”.
Rhodes and West were joined on stage by a number of Republican figures including Sandra Whitten, the 2020 GOP nominee for the 28th Congressional District of Texas; Jennifer Fleck, an unsuccessful Texas House of Representatives candidate; “Big Dan Rodimer,” another Republican Congressional candidate and former pro-wrestler; and Kimberly Fletcher, Founder / President of Moms for America, the group that organized the Stop the Steal rallies in DC on January 5th and 6th.