A North Carolina man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiring with other members of the far-right Oath Keepers militia group to forcefully halt the peaceful transfer of power after President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory, becoming the fifth person to plead guilty to the charge. Four other people connected with the Oath Keepers have pleaded guilty to obstruction of Congress and a lesser conspiracy charge, A conviction under the seditious conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years, compared with five years on the lesser conspiracy charge.
William Todd Wilson is the third member of the Oath Keepers to plead guilty to a seditious conspiracy charge stemming from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Wilson also pleaded guilty to a charge of obstructing an official proceeding, the joint session of Congress for certifying Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump. Wilson, an Oath Keeper member since 2016 and a county leader of the group’s North Carolina chapter, describes himself as a military and law enforcement veteran but doesn’t include any details of his service. “Some members of the Oath Keepers, like Wilson, believe that the federal government has been co-opted by a cabal of elites actively trying to strip American citizens of their rights,” the court filing says.Oath Keepers members dressed in paramilitary clothing stormed the Capitol in “stack” formations. Wilson and others amassed firearms on the outskirts of Washington, D.C, and were prepared to bring the weapons into the city on January 6th if Rhodes or his associates believed the need arose, according to prosecutors. In the end, the group’s “quick reaction force” teams didn’t bring guns into Washington.
JUST IN: Prosecutors have charged William Todd Wilson, a North Carolina Oath Keeper, with seditious conspiracy.https://t.co/mVamt5OOf9
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) May 4, 2022
Brian Ulrich, a Georgia man affiliated with the group, pleaded guilty to the same charge last Friday. Alabama resident Joshua James was the first Oath Keepers member to plead guilty to seditious conspiracy. Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, along with eight others linked to the group, pleaded not guilty to seditious conspiracy and other charges. A trial for some of them is scheduled to start in July.
BIG news in the Jan. 6 investigation.
Oath Keepers member William Todd Wilson says he was in a suite at the Phoenix Park Hotel with Stewart Rhodes on Jan. 6 when Rhodes put an unidentified Trump intermediary on speakerphone, and unsuccessfully tried to talk to Trump.
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) May 4, 2022
More than 780 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol riot. Over 270 of them have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanors. More than 160 of them have been sentenced. But the charge of seditious conspiracy has been rarely employed before now. The last time U.S. prosecutors brought such a seditious conspiracy case was in 2010 in an alleged Michigan plot by members of the Hutaree militia to incite an uprising against the government.