Oath Keeper in Jan. 6 Capitol Riot Cries on Stand

Graydon Young pleaded guilty, is testifying against group's founder
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 1, 2022 2:26 AM CDT
Oath Keeper in Jan. 6 Capitol Attack: It Felt Like 'Bastille-Type Event'
This artist sketch depicts the trial of Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes and four others charged with seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack, in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022.   (Dana Verkouteren via AP)

A Florida man who stormed the US Capitol with other members of the far-right Oath Keepers testified Monday that he believed they were participating in a historic “Bastille-type event” reminiscent of the French Revolution, the AP reports. Graydon Young, a government witness at the seditious conspiracy trial of Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and four associates, said he saw parallels between the mob that attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and the French people who “stood up and resisted kings and tyrants” more than two centuries ago. “The people were obviously attacking the government and their function,” Young said during the trial's fifth week of testimony. Of his participation on Jan. 6, he added, per Politico, "It was exhilarating. I felt like I was going to be an important or an integral part of what was happening."

But the 57-year-old veteran of the US Navy reserves said he became scared and ashamed as he realized how much trouble he was in after the riot. He choked up when a prosecutor asked him why he decided to cooperate with authorities. “It’s really embarrassing,” he said, later recalling the moment he realized, "I’m going to have to tell my mom." His sister was with him at the time, authorities say; she is awaiting trial. Politico notes Young had to stop two times while testifying to "choke back sobs." He said he pleaded guilty because he had done something wrong, and "to repent and be forgiven, you have to confess. Completely and wholly." But he also conceded he hopes to receive a more lenient sentence than he would have had he not cooperated with the government. (Read more Capitol attack stories.)

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