By Annette Nevins, Devlin Barrett and Spencer S. Hsu,
Jaske Beliberg AP
PLANO, Texas — U.S. prosecutors are seeking to keep Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and co-defendant Edward Vallejo behind bars until their trial on charges of seditious conspiracy in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot — and judges in Texas and Arizona agreed Friday to hold them in jail until bond hearings next week.
Rhodes and Vallejo were charged in the same federal indictment, along with nine others allegedly affiliated with Oath Keepers, an anti-government extremist group.
Rhodes, 56, who was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 but has said he did not enter the building, is the most high-profile person charged so far in the investigation relating to the assault on the Capitol.
He is accused of trying to organize and motivate those who stormed the Capitol in an effort to obstruct Congress and stop the certification of President Biden’s electoral victory.
Vallejo is accused of helping the anti-government Oath Keepers group organize the stashing of firearms at a hotel outside Washington during the protests against the result, in case they were needed.
The indictment filed against Vallejo, Rhodes and nine other Oath Keepers or associates marks the first time the historically rare charge of seditious conspiracy has been leveled in connection with the wide-ranging probe, which so far has resulted in charges against more than 700 people.
Vallejo appeared before a federal magistrate judge in Phoenix, where he lives and was arrested Thursday.
Rhodes appeared in Plano, Tex.
Both were ordered to remain behind bars pending formal detention hearings on Jan. 20. Vallejo pleaded not guilty, although he is not expected enter a formal plea until a future arraignment hearing.
Prosecutors can seek pretrial detention in cases in which they argue a defendant poses a serious risk of flight or future obstruction of justice.
This is a developing story. It will be updated.