Down go the Oath Keepers!

Ben Meiselas breaks down today’s verdicts in the sedition case against the Oath Keepers, and it’s a doozer with far-reaching repercussions — and not just for the defendants proper:

As Ben says, it’s been a slow and gradual, and very meticulous, build-up towards a case against Der Drumpf himself. The Justice Department has had to wade through the trials from the smallest fish — the disorganized rioters of January 6 — on up through the ranks toward the best-organized conspirators, who happen to be the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys. And with the biggest fish among them now found guilty and likely to spend anywhere from 20 years to life in prison, the pressure will be on those not yet convicted. If those co-conspirators want to see any of their charges dropped and/or potential sentences reduced, they will have to turn on Dear Leader and testify against him before a grand jury. How many of those, and who exactly they are, remains yet to be seen.

Meanwhile, however, one family will most likely be feeling a great deal of hope, if not yet relief, as a result of today’s batch of verdicts. Meet Tasha Adams and her son Dakota, who escaped from Stewart Rhodes with a great deal of courage, the clothes on their backs, and very little else:

Notice how Dakota doesn’t refer to his own father as “Dad”, or even “my father”, but by name only. He has also changed his surname to his mother’s maiden name — a further testimony to the state of profound alienation in which he grew up. For, as Dakota notes, his father was never really a parent to him; only his mother was that. His father was, as he says, an obstacle — not only to his freedom but also his personal safety. Dakota was brought up with all the same propaganda and training the rest of Rhodes’s men got, but with him, it didn’t take. No doubt his father’s coldness toward him, as well as his obvious obsession and power-hunger, saw to that. Still, Dakota managed to keep up the dutiful-son/militiaman act until finally, an opportunity came for him, his mother, and his little sisters to make their final break. And this all happened nearly three years before the terrorist insurrection of January 6, 2021…

The family has been working hard to rebuild their lives on their own, in a remote and lonely part of the country. If Stewart Rhodes gets a life sentence for his leading role in the Oath Keepers’ part of the insurrection, then the Adams family will be breathing their biggest collective sigh of relief. Given how deeply entrenched Rhodes’s views are, how violent and dangerous he is, and how important he is as head of a movement, it seems very likely that he will be behind bars for the rest of his life.

And it won’t be just his estranged family members breathing easier then, but an entire country.

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