The founder of the Oath Keepers, a loose-knit group of current and former law enforcement officials and military who pledge to defend the Constitution, called for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to be “hung by the neck until dead” for treason last week as the president of the Arizona Senate looked on.
Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, state Senate President Andy Biggs (R) and “constitutional sheriff” movement leader Richard Mack were all on hand at an event on May 5 in Tempe, Arizona. The stated topic of discussion at the event, which was hosted by a group called the Arizona Liberty Caucus, was the “Dangers of an Article V / Constitutional Convention.”
Rhodes recalled serving as a Nevada delegate for former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) during the 2008 presidential campaign. He accused McCain and the “GOP machine” of manipulating the convention to sabotage Paul’s chances of winning the state’s delegates, according to a video of his speech posted by Right Wing Watch.
“John Cain (sic) is a traitor to the Constitution,” Rhodes later said, misstating the senator’s last name. “He should be tried for treason before a jury of his peers — which he would deny you.”
“He would deny you the right for trial to jury, but we would give him a trial by jury,” Rhodes added. “Then after we convict him he should be hung by the neck until dead. But that was their candidate!”
Biggs, the state Senate president, later told The Arizona Republic newspaper that he didn’t know Rhodes personally or even know who the Oath Keepers were. He told the newspaper he thought “an Arizona liberty group” had invited him to speak.
As for Rhodes’ comments about McCain, Biggs told The Arizona Republic that he didn’t agree with the sentiment but didn’t think it was his place to interrupt the Oath Keepers founder’s speech.
A spokesman for McCain, Brian Rodgers, told the newspaper that the senator had no comment.