Stewart Rhodes’ son fears Trump or DeSantis will pardon his father
Dakota Adams, eldest son of Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, was somewhat disappointed with the 18-year prison sentence a federal judge imposed Thursday on his convicted seditionist father.
Adams considers it too short.
“I was hoping for better than 20 (years), but it still means he's going to die in prison unless he's pardoned, and that's good enough for me," Adams said in an exclusive interview with Raw Story.
Therein lies the rub: unless he’s pardoned.
That’s part of why Adams, 26, said the sentence, for seditious conspiracy at the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, did not represent "closure" for him. Prosecutors asked for 25 years.
“I'm no longer in an emotional landscape where I'm thinking about having a relationship with Stewart, where terms like 'closure' would apply,” he said. “Basically, it's just the threat that Stewart presents has been decreased where the only hurdle remaining is if someone insane wins the presidential election and pardons him for political points."
At a CNN town hall earlier this month, former President Donald Trump, who is running for re-election in 2024 amid his numerous legal troubles, mused about pardoning perpetrators of the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
“I am inclined to pardon many of them,” Trump said, adding that he would take up the issue early in another potential presidency. “I can’t say for every single one, because a couple of them, probably they got out of control.”
Newly minted Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis — one of several Republicans now vying to run against presumptive 2024 Democratic nominee President Joe Biden in next year's general election — also weighed in on pardoning people convicted of crimes connected to the January 6 attack.
“On day one, I will have folks that will get together and look at all these cases, people who are victims of weaponization or political targeting, and we will be aggressive in issuing pardons,” DeSantis said Thursday on a podcast.
Speaking to the court before U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta announced the sentence, Rhodes said he was a “political prisoner.” The judge retorted, “You’re not a political prisoner, Mr. Rhodes. You’re here because of your actions.”
Adams, who wrote in Raw Story about the process of extracting himself from Rhodes’ far-right paranoia, said he’s concerned about DeSantis who, at age 44, is more than three decades younger than Trump.
"DeSantis has been exhibiting all the characteristics of a wanna-be strongman dictator, in his actions as governor of Florida,” Adams said. “And I see inside the mainstream GOP a slow-moving effort to rig the presidential election permanently."
By that, he said he meant gerrymandering and voter suppression, abetted by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Speaking to the court Thursday, Rhodes compared himself to Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
"Stewart is completely obsessed with 'The Gulag Archipelago,'” Adams said of Solzhenitsyn’s book, which described forced labor and show trials in the Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin. “He quoted Solzhenitsyn all the time. It was one of his favorite people to pull quotes from. I'm not convinced he actually read 'The Gulag Archipelago,' cover to cover, instead of the cursory reading you do to kind of 'front,' like you've really absorbed the work."
Rhodes also told the court Thursday that he felt like the protagonist in Franz Kafka’s 'The Trial,' an early 20th-century work that depicted a character who was arrested without knowing the charge.
"That's a really funny comparison because Stewart absolutely knows what he's on trial for,” Adams said. “It's never been unclear. He's certainly delusional enough to see himself as the accused in The Trial."
Earlier this week, Adams’ mother, Tasha, was officially divorced from Rhodes. Raw Story exclusively obtained her 2018 affidavit in which she alleged depraved and paranoid behavior by her then-husband, including beating his children and emotionally abusing them. The court this week unsealed the affidavit and other documents in the case.
Dakota Adams said that reading that Raw Story article brought back horrific memories.
"I've been in therapy for over a year now and I'm exorcizing a lot of ghosts by writing about my childhood,” Adams said. “It is nice that there are finally consequences (for Rhodes), but mostly it's the cold calculation that Stewart is no longer a potential short-term threat, roaming loose in the world and trying to rebuild his private army."
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