Oath Keepers defendants “have agreed to temporarily waive their speedy trial rights” amid Jan. 6 hearings, attorney says

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A defense attorney for the Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes said Wednesday that members of the group accused of seditious conspiracy will seek a postponement of their upcoming criminal trials amid the Jan. 6 committee’s public hearings.

Committee member Rep Jamie Raskin confirmed to CBS News the July 12 committee hearing will focus on the roles and actions of domestic violent extremist groups, conspirators and far right organizations. 

An attorney for Rhodes, Phillip Linder, cited the expected focus on the Oath Keepers in seeking a postponement of the Sept. and Nov. 2022 criminal trials.

Linder said the group of defendants “have agreed to temporarily waive their speedy trial rights.”

“We will keep filing continuances (in the cases) until the Jan. 6 committee complies with the Justice Department’s request for transcripts of all of the witnesses they have allegedly interviewed,” Linder said.

Capitol Riot Oath Keepers
Members of the Oath Keepers on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. 

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP


In a June letter submitted to the DC federal court, the Justice Department acknowledged it had asked for copies of committee deposition transcripts, but had not yet received them.

The alleged OathKeepers defendants face the highest level criminal conspiracy charges in the U.S. Capitol attack and are accused of organizing plans, raising money and stocking firearms ahead of Jan. 6. 

The Oath Keepers defendants are not the first high profile defendants to seek court delays by citing the January 6th Select Committee hearings. Former Trump campaign adviser Steve Bannon is asking to delay his trial on contempt of Congress charges, which is scheduled to begin later this month.  

Bannon’s court filing argued that the hearings could bias potential jurors. Bannon’s attorneys said in a court filing, “the Select Committee hearings have not only addressed in general terms matters that may be in the minds of jurors when they consider the charges in this case, but also have specifically referenced Mr. Bannon.” 

The court filing also argued, “the Select Committee and Democratic party leadership have taken steps to ensure that the Jan. 6 hearings dominate the news cycle in the days leading up to Mr. Bannon’s trial by broadcasting the hearings on every major news network. The negative effect of this coverage is compounded by the fact that this  trial is taking place in Washington, D.C., where the events of January 6, 2021, occurred.”

The Justice Department has asked a judge to deny Bannon’s request for a delay. The prosecutors’ court filing said, “(Bannon) is not concerned with pretrial publicity—his repeated efforts to get it himself make that clear—he is concerned with avoiding accountability for his crime.”

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