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Oath Keeper becomes first to plead guilty to conspiracy in Capitol riot case, agrees to cooperate

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Cassidy McDonald
Clare Hymes
Graydon Young
Robert Reeder
Anna Morgan-Lloyd
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The New York Times
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Graydon Young, an Oath Keeper who had been facing six charges including destruction of government property and civil disorder, pleaded guilty Wednesday to just two charges he had been facing for conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding.Young became the second member of the Oath Keepers — which prosecutors define as a large but loosely organized collection of individuals, some of whom are associated with militias — to plead guilty in the Capitol riot investigation, but his was the first guilty plea from someone charged in the 16-person Oath Keepers conspiracy case.The case is the largest single conspiracy case in the Capitol riot investigation, and has been a focal point for prosecutors attempting to discern the extent of planning that went into the attack on the Capitol.In pleading guilty, Young also agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for a chance at a lower recommended sentence, which a judge said Wednesday could be between 63 and 78 months, approximately 5 to 6 and a half years, with an estimated fine ranging anywhere from $25,000 to $250,000 and a likely $2,000 in restitution. Eight defendants have now pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the riot.The other Oath Keeper who has pleaded guilty, Jon Schaffer, 53, said he was a founding lifetime member of the Oath Keepers, and has also agreed to cooperate fully with prosecutors in their investigation.According to the indictment in Young's case, Young's involvement with the Florida Oath Keepers chapter began December 3 when he emailed a membership application to the chapter, telling them he was "looking to get involved in helping."Weeks later, prosecutors alleged he was helping to recruit others and taking steps to organize combat training for the group.

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