(CBrief) – President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice has suffered a setback with one of the defendants it prosecuted regarding the January 6 incident at the Capitol.
A security guard who was hired by the group known as the Oath Keepers, who was acquitted of conspiracy charges regarding the incident, was sentenced last week on one other charge.
But on that charge of a misdemeanor trespassing offense the defendant, Michael Greene, was merely given two years probation,” Newsmax reported.
“Prosecutors had sought one year behind bars for Greene, but U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta sided with defense attorneys who argued for probation. He noted Greene did not enter the building or have extensive participation in the group’s online chats, which grew increasingly violent before the riot,” the report said.
“We frankly don’t have a great deal of insight into what his political views were or what he thought about the election outcome,” the judge said.
Prosecutors insisted that he was a “trusted top lieutenant” to Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes who was convicted of seditious conspiracy and sentenced to 18 years behind bars.
But Greene, an Army veteran who served in Iraq, said he was never a member of the group and only served as a security guard.
“I took a job. I’m not an Oath Keeper. I took a job. I’m not a criminal,” the defendant said.
The prosecution disagreed.
“Mr. Greene did not stumble upon this riot,” Kathryn Rakoczy, a prosecutor in the case, said.
“He came to do a job,” his attorney, William Shipley, said. “He’s really differently positioned than some of the others.”
The defendant said that he is considering an appeal just to have his record cleaned.
“I feel good, happy to be done with it right now,” he said. “Now that it’s over, I just got try to dig back out and try to get back to work.”
On June 24, 2022 the Department of Justice issued a press release on Greene’s indictment and accused him of conspiring with other Oath Keepers to prevent the certification of President Biden’s election victory.
“Greene, who also is known as Michael Simmons, was indicted on a total of five charges, including conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction of an official proceeding; conspiracy to prevent an officer from discharging any duties; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, and tampering with documents or proceedings,” it alleged.
“In a separate case, nine additional defendants face charges of seditious conspiracy and other offenses, including Elmer Stewart Rhodes III, 57, of Granbury, Texas, who is the founder and leader of the Oath Keeper. A superseding indictment was unsealed in that case yesterday,” the Department of Justice said.
“As alleged in the indictments, the Oath Keepers are a large but loosely organized collection of individuals, some of whom are associated with militias. Though the Oath Keepers will accept anyone as members, they explicitly focus on recruiting current and former military, law enforcement, and first-responder personnel. Members and affiliates of the Oath Keepers were among the individuals and groups who forcibly entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021,” it said.
“According to the indictment, Greene also used the monikers ‘Whip’ and ‘Whiplash.’ He participated in an online meeting on Nov. 9, 2020, in which Rhodes outlined a plan to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power. Greene later was chosen by Rhodes to be an operations leader for activities on Jan. 6. Greene, Rhodes, and others made plans to bring weapons to the area to support the operation. The co-conspirators then traveled across the country to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area in early January 2021. Between Jan. 1 and Jan. 5, 2021, according to the indictment, Greene and others transported firearms, ammunition, and related items to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area,” the Department of Justice said.
“On Jan. 6, Greene and Rhodes departed a hotel in Virginia at approximately 8:30 a.m. and drove to the Capitol area. Each later entered the restricted area of the Capitol grounds and directed co-conspirators to meet them at the Capitol. At 1:42 p.m., Greene sent a text message to an acquaintance stating, “Storming the capital,” along with a photograph that depicted the advancing mob on the west side of the Capitol grounds. Greene communicated with Rhodes and others during the afternoon. At about 3:09 p.m., Greene texted an acquaintance, “Congress evacuated.” After teams of other Oath Keepers entered and exited the Capitol, Greene and Rhodes met them in a plaza outside the building. The indictment alleges that sometime on or after Jan. 6, Greene deleted from his cellphone certain media, files, and communications that showed his involvement in the activities,” it said.