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North Carolina oath keeper has pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy

WASHINGTON (Transatlantic Today) — On Wednesday, a man from North Carolina pled guilty to plotting with other supporters of the extreme right Oath Keepers militant group to disrupt the peaceful transition of power following President Joe Biden’s election victory in 2020. 

According to ABC NEWS, William Todd Wilson, 44, of Newton Grove, North Carolina, is the 3rd member of the Oath Keepers to plead guilty to a seditious conspiracy charge coming from the invasion on the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. 

Last Friday, Brian Ulrich, 44, of Guyton, Georgia, pled guilty to the same offense. The first Oath Keepers supporter to admit guilt to seditious conspiracy was Joshua James, 34, of Arab, Alabama. 

Stewart Rhodes, 55, of Granbury, Texas, and 8 other Oath Keepers members have pleaded not guilty to counts of seditious conspiracy and other crimes. In July, a prosecution for a few of them is set to begin. 

Wilson, unlike Ulrich and James, was not charged in the seditious conspiracy allegation when it was first indicted in January 2022. 

The charge is seldom used. Prior to January, the last time US prosecutors launched a seditious conspiracy case was in 2010 in Michigan, when members of the Hutaree militia allegedly plotted to inspire a revolt against the government. 

According to a court document, Wilson has been a member of the Oath Keeper since 2016 and was the Sampson County head of the group’s North Carolina branch. He is described as a police and military veteran in the lawsuit, but no specifics about his service are provided. 

Wilson traveled to the Washington region on Jan. 5 with ammo, a handgun, a rifle, and other battle gear. Prosecutors claimed he left the firearms in a Virginia hotel room but was equipped with a pocketknife and disguised himself with a beanie cap and neck gaiter when he and other Oath Keepers stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. 

In “stack” formations, Oath Keepers militants outfitted in paramilitary garb attacked the Capitol. According to prosecution, others collected weapons on the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and were ready to transport them into the metropolis on January 6 if Rhodes or his accomplices decided the need arose. The group’s “quick reaction force” teams didn’t bring firearms into Washington in the end. 

Wilson joined a crowd of individuals attempting to open the Rotunda Doors from within the Capitol before leaving, according to prosecution. 

According to a court document, Wilson accompanied Rhodes and others in a hotel’s private room later that afternoon, when Rhodes repeatedly pushed someone to encourage Trump to call on organizations like the Oath Keepers to aggressively fight the political transition over a speaker phone. The person on the other end of the line declined to let Rhodes talk with Trump directly. 

Wilson dumped his smartphone into the Atlantic Ocean several days after returning home, authorities say, to keep its records out of the hands of police. 

Wilson also admitted to impeding an official procedure by refusing to declare Biden’s win over former President Donald Trump before the joint session of Congress. 

Four additional Oath Keepers members have agreed to plead guilty for obstruction of Congress and a misdemeanor charge of conspiracy. The maximum sentence for a seditious conspiracy sentence is 20 years, compared to 5 years for a lesser conspiracy crime. 

Over 780 persons have been charged with federal charges in connection with the disturbance on Jan. 6. Over 270 of them have entered pleas, the majority of them to misdemeanors. Over 160 of them have already been sentenced.

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