As the second anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol approaches, multiple events are being planned to commemorate the January 6 event. However, the commemoration comes as four people affiliated with the far-right extremist group, the Oath Keepers, were convicted of conspiracy and obstruction charges stemming from the attack. A Washington D.C. jury found Sandra Parker, Laura Steele, William Isaacs, and Connie Meggs guilty of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and other felony charges. However, Sandra Parker’s husband, Bennie Parker, was acquitted of some charges, and another defendant, Michael Greene, was acquitted of some conspiracy charges. Jurors were unable to reach a verdict on some charges, and the judge instructed them to continue deliberations. All six defendants were convicted of a misdemeanor trespassing offence.
In another development, the January 6th Committee recently released an 845-page report which asserts that Donald Trump criminally engaged in a “multi-part conspiracy” to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 presidential election and failed to act to stop his supporters from attacking the Capitol. The report came after the panel interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses, held 10 hearings, and obtained millions of pages of documents. Conspiracy to obstruct Congress and obstruction of Congress both carry a sentence of up to 20 years behind bars.
Meanwhile, officers who defended the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, were honored with Congressional Gold Medals on December 6, 2022. The Oath Keepers have denied there was any plot to storm the Capitol or stop the certification. The defense lawyers have argued that their clients came to Washington only to watch then-President Donald Trump speak or provide security for speakers at events prior to the riot, and that those who entered the Capitol did so spontaneously.
More than half of the roughly 1,000 people who have been charged with Capitol riot-related federal crimes have pleaded guilty, including more than 130 who pleaded guilty to felony crimes. Of the 400 who have been sentenced, more than half have received terms of imprisonment ranging from seven days to 10 years. As the country approaches the second anniversary of the attack that shook the nation, many are reflecting on the events of that day and grappling with the ongoing legal proceedings against those who participated in the attack.