The commander of a far-right militia was convicted guilty of plotting the crime in order to stop US Vice President Joe Biden from taking power after the 2020 election.
Stewart Rhodes, the founder of Oath Keepers, was found guilty of the extraordinary charge of a seditious conspiracy by a jury following a two-month trial.
He allegedly plotted an armed rebellion to stop Donald Trump from appointing Joe Biden as president.
He was on trial for the Capitol riots in 2021 along with four other defendants.
Kenneth Harrelson, Kelly Meggs, and Jessica Watkins were three of the individuals who entered the building during the assault.
Meggs was found to have participated in a seditious conspiracy on Tuesday. The maximum sentence for the offenses brought against Rhodes and Meggs is 20 years in prison.
Along with Harrelson and Watkins, Thomas Caldwell was a fifth participant who was found not guilty of seditious conspiracy.
The five individuals who made up the group were all accused of impeding an official investigation.
Rhodes was also found responsible for tampering with documents or processes. The prosecution claims that throughout the disturbances, Rhodes acted as a "battlefield general". He was exonerated on two additional conspiracy allegations.
Before making a judgment, the jury deliberated for a whole three days.
After the verdict, Rhodes' attorneys expressed their displeasure with the result but acknowledged that the prosecution had not won the case outright either.
Edward Tarpley, the defendant's attorney, said of the verdict, "It's a mixed bag. I'm glad the jury found the defendants not guilty on some charges.”
They want to challenge the convictions in court.
To obtain a conviction for seditious conspiracy, the prosecution must demonstrate that two or more people conspired to "overthrow, bring down, or destroy by force" the US government or that they meant to use force to undermine US authority.
According to Alan Rozenshtein, a former US Department of Justice attorney and law professor at the University of Minnesota, Rhodes' conviction is significant because it shows that a charge of seditious conspiracy is "a viable and legal path for punishing the most serious anti-democratic conduct" in the country.
He said that the jury's ability to responsibly apply its conviction was demonstrated by the mixed verdict.
According to Mr. Rozenshtein, the decision gave the justice department more confidence as it sought to charge more individuals in connection with the Capitol riots.
On January 6, 2021, supporters of then-Republican President Donald Trump stormed Congress to prevent the official declaration of Joe Biden's victory.
Almost all of the 900 people who have been detained for taking part in the violence so far have come from all 50 states.
During the Oath Keepers trial, the court heard testimony about the defendants' concealment of dozens of guns in a hotel room in Virginia, just over the Potomac River from Washington, DC, with the intent to bring those weapons into the capital in the event of protracted social upheaval.
The Oath Keepers were on a strictly defensive mission, defense attorneys claimed, seeking to protect demonstrators and maintain calm both inside and outside the Capitol. They claimed that the firearms were never even brought into the city.
Rhodes was receiving calls and messages as the riots were happening outside the Capitol, the jury was informed. Some of the texts that the court could see contained instructions from Rhodes to his supporters to "rise up in insurrection."
"The Oath Keepers" was formed by Rhodes, a former US Army paratrooper, and Yale-educated attorney. Over the past ten years, members have participated in a number of armed standoffs and protests across the country.
Two of the accused, Meggs and Harrelson, are Floridians; Watkins is from Ohio, and Caldwell is from Virginia. Texas is home to Rhodes.
Later this year, additional Oath Keepers members as well as members of the Proud Boys, another extreme right organization, will face trial.
Another infamous US Capitol storming in the previous century also resulted in successful seditious conspiracy convictions.
Four nationalists from the US territory of Puerto Rico opened fire on the House of Representatives floor in 1954, injuring several members.
The assailants and over a dozen other gang members were found guilty of sedition.