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Oath Keepers’ Key Member Dodges Incarceration in January 6 Incident

Michael Greene’s Case 

In a case revolving around the events of January 6, 2021, Michael “Whip” Greene from Indianapolis, Indiana, associated with the Oath Keepers militia group, was sentenced on Friday to two years of probation. Greene was found guilty of a misdemeanor trespassing charge. The former U.S. Army combat engineer and ex-Blackwater contractor was also directed to perform 60 hours of community service by Judge Amit P. Mehta.

During the sentencing hearing, Judge Mehta noted that Greene did not enter the Capitol building on January 6 nor did he participate in the Oath Keepers’ online discussions, which were characterized by increasingly threatening rhetoric leading up to the events of that day.

There, several individuals caused riots at the Capitol amidst other individuals protesting peacefully.

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Contested Sentencing 

Prosecutors had advocated for a one-year prison sentence for Greene, who was convicted of trespassing during a trial in March. However, he was absolved of more severe charges, including conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy to prevent members of Congress from carrying out their duties.

Judge Mehta stated that the jury’s decision to acquit Greene of the more serious charges must be acknowledged.

In his defense, Greene explained that he was hired by the Oath Keepers to offer security on January 6 during the rally that eventually led to the Capitol breach. He expressed relief at his sentence, referring to his feeling as “pretty damn good.”

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The Prosecution’s Stand

Prosecutors contended that Greene was a “top-trusted lieutenant” within the Oath Keepers. However, Judge Mehta sided with Greene’s defense team, which argued that he wasn’t directly connected to the group.

The judge admitted they lacked substantial insight into Greene’s political beliefs or his views on the election’s outcome. 

Greene’s Stand

Asserting his independence, Greene insisted that he was contracted to conduct security work for the Oath Keepers and that he had never been a member of the organization. He described his role as being called upon to establish personal protection details for certain individuals who required security services from the Oath Keepers.

Further, Greene mentioned that he is not politically engaged and was simply compensated to do a job on January 6. He underscored the transactional nature of his involvement, stating, “I came to do a job, and I went home.”

His attorney supplemented this by stating that Greene was paid around $5,000 to manage the Oath Keepers’ security services for individuals like Roger Stone, former President Donald Trump’s longtime confidant, as well as “Stop the Steal” organizer Ali Alexander.

Credits: DepositPhotos

Steward Rhodes and the Oath Keepers

In contrast to Greene’s case, the founder and leader of the Oath Keepers, Steward Rhodes, was sentenced in May to 18 years in prison for seditious conspiracy and other crimes. The same judge presided over Greene’s sentencing and handed down the punishment to Rhodes, who was convicted in 2022 of seditious conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding, and tampering with documents or proceedings.

During his sentencing, Rhodes claimed he was a “political prisoner,” a claim that the judge dismissed. Judge Mehta characterized Rhodes as someone who had wished for the country’s democracy to descend into violence for years.

In total, 29 Oath Keepers members and their affiliates have been charged as part of the Capitol breach investigation.

A Closer Look at the Oath Keepers

The Oath Keepers is a group mainly composed of former and current law enforcement and military members who have sworn to “defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Rhodes said he went to Washington to offer security for notable speakers, including Stone. 

Concerned about potential attacks by members of the far-left Antifa network against Trump supporters, Rhodes claimed to have gone to the Capitol from the speech venue to order Oath Keepers away from the building after witnessing the chaos unfolding there on television.

His 18-year sentence is the longest so far in the January 6 cases, and sentencing enhancements were applied based on a range of factors, including what Judge Mehta termed as Rhodes’s “terroristic conduct.”

During Rhodes’ trial, Greene was called as a witness and testified that Rhodes’ rhetoric prior to January 6, which included instructing Oath Keepers to gear up for a fight, was mostly hyperbole. Greene compared Rhodes’ dramatic declarations to the boasting of an old man in a barbershop, sparking laughter in the courtroom and reinforcing his position that his involvement with the group was merely professional.

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Malik is a skilled writer with a passion for news and current events. With their keen eye for detail, they provide insightful perspectives on the latest happenings. Stay informed and engaged!