Watchdog Announces Criminal Complaint Against Trump Over Insurrection


The government watchdog group known as Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has filed a criminal sedition complaint against ex-President Donald Trump with the federal government, requesting an investigation from the FBI and Department of Justice into Trump’s role in the January 6 rioting at the U.S. Capitol. Trump incited the rioting with his lie that the 2020 presidential election outcome was the result of widespread fraud, and subsequently, his supporters at the Capitol attempted to forcibly stop the Congressional proceedings to formally certify Biden’s win.

As Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington notes, Trump’s “larger purpose appears to have been the violent overthrow of the United States government by delaying, hindering, or stopping Congress from affirming the results of the 2020 presidential election.” He publicly encouraged his supporters to be in D.C. on January 6 for what he said would be a “wild” protest, and on January 6 itself, he encouraged his supporters to “fight like hell” against the imaginary election fraud. A post on the far-right social media platform Parler that was viewed over 70 thousand times noted that Trump said to “fight like hell,” adding: “We now have the green light.” This sense of a “green light” from the then-president seems to have underlined at least some of the Capitol rioters’ actions. There is a clear and obvious connection between Trump’s rhetoric and the deadly violence.

Meanwhile, CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder commented as follows:

‘Accusing the president of sedition is not something we do lightly. It is an accusation that should be reserved for only the most extreme circumstances. This is such a circumstance. In what will be remembered as a dark day for American democracy, President Trump and his co-conspirators appear to have engaged in nothing less than an attempt to overthrow the government by force. This cannot go unanswered. The FBI and Justice Department must investigate immediately.’

Soon, the Senate — where Democrats finally took control of key committees this week — will hold an impeachment trial for the ex-president after the Democrat-led House charged him with incitement of insurrection. A comparatively small number of GOP Senators may vote to convict Trump, but it seems unlikely that enough Republicans are willing to vote against him to reach the 67-vote threshold required for a conviction.