Former President Donald Trump
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A federal court may have fired a warning shot to Donald Trump by imposing lengthy sentences for some of the organizers of the Jan. 6 insurrection.

District Court judge Amit Mehta sentenced Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes to 18 years in prison for seditious conspiracy and ordered his top lieutenant, Kelly Meggs, to serve 12 years for the same crime, and legal expert Dennis Aftergut wrote a column for The Bulwark analyzing the message that sent to Trump and his supporters.

"As a general matter, judges typically reserve longer sentences for those higher up the ladder of culpability," wrote Aftergut, a former federal prosecutor. "Rhodes got six more years than Meggs; Rhodes was a leader of the Oath Keepers but not, as his lawyer and [Capitol police officer] Harry Dunn both emphasized, of the whole insurrection."

"We’re waiting for Special Counsel Jack Smith to indict the true leader," he added. "Nerves are fraying in Mar-a-Lago."

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) should also be worried about the harsh sentences meted out to the militants, whom she has described as "political prisoners."

"The court’s response to Rhodes was a heavy-duty sentence, the language the law speaks to extract accountability for violence and the lies that motivate it," Aftergut wrote. "MTG has only hinted at violence in support of her lies, but the court, when it said to Rhodes that 'You . . . present an ongoing threat and a peril to this country,' may as well have been speaking to her."