We are moving into another phase of one of the largest investigations in U.S. history by the Department of Justice according to Washington Post. They are, of course, referring to the violent insurrection that occurred on January 6 at the Capitol. Last week, several outlets reported that members of the “Proud Boys” organization have been charged with conspiracy, which charge could carry some serious time if they are convicted. Now, the DOJ has taken yet another step: they are looking at charging some of the insurrectionists with sedition.
Appearing on CBS’ “60 Minutes” over the weekend, Michael Sherwin, the former acting U.S. Attorney for D.C., told Scott Pelley that he believes the facts uncovered to date support charges of sedition, even as the investigation into this case continues. As NBC News reported, sedition charges are rare but applicable when citizens conspire to overthrow the government like the Michigan militia that planned an overthrow of the local government. Sherwin revealed that he was at Trump’s rally and noticed that many of his followers wore tactical gear. When he saw them leaving early and followed them to the Capitol, he knew things would not turn out well. Sherwin also shared that they have now charged over 400 people for their involvement in the riot. It is amazing how few of them tried to hide their identities, as if what they were doing was right or lawful. We can only imagine what they are thinking now as they face federal charges, which carry no possibility of parole if convicted.
Sherwin also said that it is “unequivocal that Trump was the magnet that brought the people to D.C.” and that “everything is being looked at.” The question is whether Trump can be found criminally responsible for these events. Sherwin shared that many came because Trump told them to “take back the House.” Maybe, he said,” the president is culpable for those actions.” There is no doubt in most people’s minds that Trump is culpable and should be held responsible. It is interesting that, according to WaPo, the DOJ is prepared to enter plea talks with some of the insurrectionists. Typically, law enforcement will offer deals to minor actors to get to the bigger ones, especially those who conspired to create this calamitous event.
Peter Skinner, a former prosecutor, told WaPo that the DOJ is approaching the insurrection as they would handle organized crime. The plea offers will go to those charged only with misdemeanors, such as trespassing, to get evidence on the conspiracists and those who injured police officers and/or participated in the killing of Brian Sicknick. George Pierre Tanios from West Virginia and Julian Elie Khater of Pennsylvania are both charged in Sicknick’s death and are being held without bail. Imagine that these people thought they could stop democracy and upon failing, walk away and pick up their lives where they left off, shows just how unstable they are. Hopefully, the consequences of the actions of all 400 of these people will stand as a warning for anyone else who gets such ludicrous ideas.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years