In the two months since the Capitol riot, we’ve seen more and more people get arrested and charged for their actions that day. As investigators have gathered more details about everything that went down on Jan. 6, the federal prosecutor overseeing the Justice Department’s investigation has said sedition charges are looking likely.
According to NBC News, Michael Sherwin, the former acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, told 60 Minutes in an interview on Sunday that he “personally believes” the evidence investigators have compiled so far “is trending towards” sedition charges for some of the rioters. “I believe the facts do support those charges, and I think that as we go forward, more facts will support that...This is going to be a long-term investigation,” Sherwin added.
It seemed likely that some of the rioters were going to face sedition charges, because, well, I don’t know what else you call storming a Federal building in an effort to overturn a free and fair election. Sherwin himself indicated that sedition charges would be looked into at the start of the investigation in late January.
Sedition charges are generally rare, simply because most folks generally know better than to brazenly attempt a coup over the claims of a noted liar. The last time sedition charges were filed was over a decade ago in 2010 after prosecutors in Michigan brought charges against a militia who conspired to engage in an armed conflict with the government.
Sherwin also added that the former president’s criminal liability for the riots is still being determined. “[It’s] unequivocal that Trump was the magnet that brought the people to D.C.” on Jan. 6.,” Sherwin told 60 Minutes, adding that “everything is being looked at” when it comes to potentially bringing criminal charges against Donald Trump. Sherwin noted that many of the rioters came to D.C. because Trump told them to take back the house. He told 60 Minutes that could be the fact that “moves the needle” towards Trump facing criminal charges.
So far, over 400 people have been charged with their role in the riot, with most being hit with federal charges that carry punishments anywhere from 5 to 20 years in prison. Investigators are now trying to determine whether the plan to breach the Capitol was predetermined. Considering the actions of some GOP congress members in the days leading up to the riot, it doesn’t seem that unlikely. Of the 400 arrested, a significant number have been former and active duty service members and–believe it or not—cops.
In other words, people who should’ve known better, but just couldn’t resist the siren call of white supremacy.