Oath Keeper Pleads Guilty to Seditious Conspiracy

Brian Ulrich of Georgia agreed to cooperate with Jan. 6 prosecutors
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 29, 2022 3:30 PM CDT
Oath Keeper Pleads Guilty to Seditious Conspiracy
Rioters face off with police at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

A Georgia man affiliated with the Oath Keepers militia group became the second Capitol rioter to plead guilty to seditious conspiracy for his actions leading up to and through Jan. 6, 2021. The sentencing guidelines for Brian Ulrich, who pleaded guilty on Friday, call for 5¼ years to 6½ years in prison. He also pleaded guilty to obstructing an official proceeding, the AP reports. The 44-year-old from Guyton, Georgia, agreed to cooperate with authorities investigating the riot, including testifying before a grand jury. Asked by the judge whether he was pleading guilty because he was in fact guilty of the charges, Ulrich answered, "Yes, your honor."

Authorities say Ulrich participated in encrypted chats with other people affiliated with the far-right Oath Keepers in the days before the riot, rode toward the US Capitol with others in golf carts on Jan. 6, marched on the grounds in a military "stack" formation, taunted police officers who were guarding the building, and entered the Capitol as hundreds of former President Trump's supporters sought to block the certification of President Biden's electoral victory. The seditious conspiracy prosecution is the boldest publicly known attempt so far by the government to prosecute those who attacked the Capitol.

The group's founder, Stewart Rhodes, and eight others have pleaded not guilty to seditious conspiracy and other charges. A conviction on the seditious conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, compared with five on the lesser conspiracy charge that others associated with the militia group are facing. While four other people connected with the Oath Keepers have pleaded guilty to obstruction of Congress and the lesser conspiracy charge, Ulrich is the second person to plead guilty to seditious conspiracy. (Joshua James of Alabama pleaded guilty to the charge last month.)

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