The founder of the far-right Oath Keepers gang has been described as a ‘complete sociopath’ by his estranged wife.
Tasha Adams, wife of Oath Keepers founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes, made the comments during a CNN interview a day after being charged with seditious conspiracy for her alleged role in the Capitol Riot.
Ms Adams said she was glad he was arrested and had already feared for her safety and that of her family. She said she felt “so relieved” the man was behind bars and facing serious charges.
“I knew I was living in fear of him showing up here. But the — just to drop that weight and know that we were safe and my kids were safe and my kids’ school didn’t have nothing to worry about, it was a relief that I did ‘I didn’t know he existed,’ she told CNN’s John Berman.
When Mr Berman asked her if she thought Mr Rhodes was a threat to the country, Ms Adams said he was a ‘dangerous man’.
“He’s very dangerous. He lives in his own head a lot,” she said. “He thinks of himself as a great leader, he almost has his own mythology of himself and I think he almost achieved that by thinking of himself as some kind of character in history and it kind of happened . He’s a complete sociopath, he doesn’t feel empathy for anyone around him.”
Mr. Rhodes is the first individual to face seditious conspiracy charges related to the Capitol Riot.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and requires prosecutors to prove that at least two people agreed to use force to overthrow the government or delay the enforcement of a US law.
Prosecutors provided a more than 48-page indictment outlining Mr. Rhodes’ statements to his members before the Capitol riot. In several of the exchanges, Mr Rhodes called for the need to use ‘civil war’, telling his members on election day to ‘stock up on ammunition’ for ‘all-out war in the streets’ if former President Donald Trump lost.
“We won’t get out of this without a civil war,” he wrote on encrypted messaging app Signal two days after the 2020 election. “Too late for that. Prepare your mind, your body, your mind .
In December 2020, he told Oath Keepers in several states that “it will be a bloody and desperate fight” and that “we are going to fight. It cannot be avoided”.
Last summer, Mr. Rhodes spoke with The New York Times and claimed he had given “no instructions” to its members to enter the Capitol.
However, at least four oath keepers who were at the Capitol on January 6 are cooperating with the government and have given affidavits claiming the gang’s plan was to enter the Capitol and prevent Electoral College certification.
In the months following Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election, Mr Rhodes reportedly began spending thousands of dollars buying guns, ammunition and tactical gear.
The Oath Keepers have become a regular presence at right-wing events and incidents under the Obama administration. Members were present during Bundy’s 2014 clash in Nevada, then roamed the streets with guns in Ferguson, Mo., after race justice riots erupted following the police shooting of Michael Brown.
The group has generally taken anti-government views, but changed its tune when Mr. Trump took office. They also took action against racial justice protesters during the 2020 George Floyd protests that swept the country.
The Independent Gt