Oath Keepers’ Operations Chief Avoids Jail Time in Jan. 6 Case

Oath Keepers’ Operations Chief Avoids Jail Time in Jan. 6 Case
Supporters of President Donald Trump enter the U.S. Capitol's Rotund in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

An Indiana man who on Jan. 6, 2021 provided security for the Oath Keepers militia group was on Friday sentenced to two years of probation after being found guilty of a misdemeanor trespassing charge.

Michael “Whip” Greene, of Indianapolis, was on Friday sentenced to two years of probation and 60 hours of community service by Judge Amit P. Mehta, who sided defense attorneys for the veteran U.S. Army combat engineer and former Blackwater contractor.

Mehta said at the sentencing hearing that Mr. Greene did not enter the Capitol building on Jan. 6 or take part in the Oath Keepers’ online chats, where the rhetoric grew increasingly menacing before the events of that day culminated in some individuals rioting at the Capitol alongside other law-abiding protesters.

Prosecutors had argued for a one-year prison sentence for Mr. Greene, who at a trial in March was convicted of trespassing but cleared of more serious charges, including obstructing an official proceeding and conspiracy to prevent members of Congress from discharging their duties.

‘Pretty Damn Good’

The judge said that the jury had acquitted Mr. Greene of the more serious charges and that verdict “has to be respected.”

Mr. Greene told WUSA9 reporter Jordan Fischer outside the courtroom that he was hired by the Oath Keepers to provide security on Jan. 6 at the rally that preceded the Capitol breach.

“I feel pretty damn good,” Mr. Greene said after being asked to comment on the sentencing, according to video posted by Fischer on social media.

While prosecutors alleged that Mr. Greene was a “top-trusted lieutenant” in the Oath Keepers, the judge sided with Mr. Greene’s defense team, which argued that he was not directly linked to the group.

“We frankly don’t have a great deal of insight into what his political views were or what he thought about the election outcome,” Judge Mehta said.

East dome cam jan6
A Capitol Police security camera captures the breach of barricades on the Capitol’s east side on Jan. 6, 2021. (U.S. Department of Justice/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

Mr. Greene insisted he was hired to do security work for the Oath Keepers and never joined the organization.

“First and foremost, I was called to help set up the personal protection details for a couple of individuals that the Oath Keepers were called upon to do security for,” he told Fischer outside the courtroom.

Mr. Greene added that he’s not politically engaged and on Jan. 6, he “was paid to do a job.”

“I came to do a job, and I went home,” he said.

His attorney added that he was paid around $5,000 to oversee the Oath Keepers’ security services for figures like Roger Stone, longtime confidant to former President Donald Trump, as well as “Stop the Steal” organizer Ali Alexander.

Trump Supporters Rally In Freedom Plaza In Washington Dc
Roger Stone, former advisor to President Donald Trump, speaks in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on Jan. 5, 2021. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

The founder and leader of the Oath Keepers, Steward Rhodes, was sentenced in May to 18 years in prison for seditious conspiracy and other crimes.

The same judge that presided over Mr. Greene’s sentencing handed down the 18-year punishment for Mr. Rhodes, who was convicted in 2022 of seditious conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding, and tampering with documents or proceedings.

At his sentencing, Mr. Rhodes insisted he was a “political prisoner,” a view the judge rejected.

“For decades, Mr. Rhodes, it is clear you have wanted the democracy of this country to devolve into violence,” Judge Mehta said at the time.

“You are not a political prisoner, Mr. Rhodes.”

In total, 29 Oath Keepers members and their affiliates were charged as part of the Capitol breach investigation.

Oath Keepers

Ferguson Tense After Shootout On Anniversary Of Michael Brown S Death
Oath Keepers walk along West Florrisant Street as demonstrators, marking the first anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown, protest in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 10, 2015. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The Oath Keepers is a group composed mostly of former and current law enforcement and military members who have taken an oath to “defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Mr. Rhodes said he went to Washington to provide security for top speakers, including Mr. Stone.

The Oath Keepers leader said he was concerned that Trump supporters would be attacked by members of the far-left Antifa network, which had carried out such attacks before.

Mr. Rhodes said he went to the Capitol from the speech venue to order Oath Keepers away from the building after watching television coverage of the chaos breaking out there.

The 18-year sentence handed down to Mr. Rhodes is the longest so far in the Jan. 6 cases.

Judge Mehta applied sentencing enhancements based on a range of factors, including what he described as Mr. Rhodes’s “terroristic conduct.”

Mr. Greene, who was called as a witness at Mr. Rhodes’ trial, testified that the rhetoric Mr. Rhodes used ahead of Jan. 6, including telling Oath Keepers to prepare for a fight, was mostly bluster.

“Oh, we gotta fight to protect this country and all that,” Mr. Greene said on the stand, according to WUSA9. “It’s just like the old guy at the barbershop.”

“Did a lot of old guys at barbershops go to the Capitol?” assistant U.S. attorney Jeffrey Nestler asked Mr. Greene during cross-examination.

“I’m on the docket with two old guys,” Mr. Greene replied, eliciting laughter in the courtroom. “They’re old as [expletive].”

“These guys basically talked about old military [expletive],” Mr. Greene said, per the outlet.

“It was like a camp. They were there camping out.”

Zachary Stieber and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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