When Tasha Adams heard that her estranged husband, Elmer Stewart Rhodes, had been convicted of seditious conspiracy against the United States, she said she felt “relieved and happy,” although she warned Rhodes could seek a pardon to apply to the President.
“This is the first time he’s faced consequences – ever. Really, it’s the first time he’s been held accountable for anything he’s ever done,” she said.
Adams spoke briefly to HuffPost on Tuesday after the verdict was read at Rhodes’ trial, a two-month affair in which he was named a defendant alongside four others linked to the far-right Oath Keepers group, which he found above one founded decade.
After three days of deliberation, the jury’s verdict on many of the charges against the Oath Keeper defendants was mixed. All five were found guilty of obstructing an official trial for their role in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. Two of them, Rhodes and Kelly Meggs – a leader in the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers – were found guilty of sedition, the most serious charge yet against one of the Capitol rioters. It carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Adams shares six children with Rhodes; She filed for divorce in 2018 after more than two decades of marriage. In previous interviews with news outlets, Adams claimed Rhodes spent money from Oath Keeper on indulgences for himself and abused her and the children, three of whom spoke out against their father earlier this year.
Regarding the mixed overall verdict, Adams said she trusts the Washington, DC jury to do their job well, saying, “I thought they were really taking this seriously and not just emotionally [decide] Guilty or not.”
While she said she was pleased with the outcome of the process, Adams cautioned that Rhodes is likely already looking to 2024 and planning to apologize if Donald Trump is re-elected president.
“I think he’s already mentally regrouped for that, and I think that’s where his mind is right now,” she said. “Mentally, he will continue to see himself as this great man, this mystical martyr messiah that he thinks he is. He will see that.”
Adams said that Rhodes believes his “destiny is to be a martyr before he is eventually revealed to be a great leader.”
When faced with setbacks, Rhodes typically “feels down for a few days” but recovers quickly, Adams said.
“It typically takes about three days to reconstruct a narrative of how wonderful he is, no matter how badly he screwed things up,” she told HuffPost.
Adams explained how she wants people of all political persuasions to understand that her estranged husband is not the man he makes himself out to be.
“He abused my children, he abused me. He’s completely amoral. … I want them to understand that too, so he can’t just come back.”
Judge Amit Mehta is expected to announce verdicts in the coming weeks.
Two other inflammatory conspiracy trials – one for a second group of Oath Keepers and one for a group of Proud Boys – are scheduled to begin in December.