Oath Keepers Leader Found Guilty of Seditious Conspiracy in Jan. 6 Case
This is the fourth post in a series on this case. For previous posts about this case, click here, here, and here.
The first post in this series covered the trial in state court of the State of Georgia before Judge Arthur D. Sponenberg. The judge ruled that O’Neal was guilty of seditious conspiracy to commit a crime, which is a felony, and for obstructing and hindering a prosecutor in the performance of his duties, which is a misdemeanor. The second post in the series described in considerable detail the prosecution’s evidence against O’Neal. Here is what was not covered: what O’Neal said during the trial and afterward. I have posted many times on O’Neal’s long history of speaking out against the military, and his membership in the Oath Keepers, a group that has been compared to an anti-military militia. O’Neal’s lawyer at trial described him as a “disgruntled officer,” but that was his word. The judge described O’Neal as a “professional activist,” but that is what he did. They had the same story, only one gave it a more favorable spin than the other.
There was some evidence about O’Neal’s public statements about the military and the Oath Keepers that the judge and O’Neal’s lawyer did not mention. In one statement about the judge, he called him a “savage” and a “carnival barker” who “tries to use the military to solve every problem.” This statement is not in the judge’s written opinion. The judge, who had met O’Neal twice, had a different opinion. In a sworn affidavit, O’Neal’s attorney made the following statements about the judge:
In the course of the judicial proceeding O’Neal, with the help of his attorney, tried to portray me as a “carnival barker” who tries to use the military to solve every problem. He is a professional activist who advocates the use of lethal force against anyone and everyone who disagrees with his ideas.