During an interview that aired on 60 Minutes over the weekend, federal prosecutor Michael Sherwin — who served as the acting U.S. Attorney for D.C. through the presidential transition period and helped lead the initial stages of the Capitol riot investigation — indicated that sedition charges against the Capitol rioters are not an impossibility. Authorities are “looking at everything,” he said, and he added that he’s personally inclined to believe that “evidence is trending towards” sedition charges.
Hundreds of people, including a former Trump era State Department official, multiple people connected to the right-wing extremist group known as the Proud Boys, and more, are already facing charges over their participation in the rioting. As Sherwin put it:
‘I personally believe the evidence is trending towards [sedition] and probably meets those elements.’
Sedition carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. Asked if he specifically anticipates sedition charges, Sherwin added the following:
‘I believe the facts do support those charges, and I think that as we go forward, more facts will support that… You are going to be charged based upon your conduct and your conduct only, not what you may have posted about the election, not what you may have posted about different political views. The world looks to us for the rule of law and order and democracy, and that was shattered, I think, on that day, and we have to build ourselves up again. The only way to build ourselves up again is the equal application of the law to show the rule of law is going to treat these people fairly under the law.’
Check out his comments below:
Prosecutors have not yet charged any Capitol rioters with sedition. But asked whether he anticipates those charges, federal prosecutor Michael Sherwin says, “I believe the facts do support those charges.” https://t.co/QttmisXpO1 pic.twitter.com/CLq0xYdAzh
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) March 21, 2021
Sherwin also observed that ex-President Donald Trump might be “culpable” for the actions of the rioters. As the prosecutor noted, rioters have specifically stated that they went to the Capitol in response to rhetoric from Trump, who delusionally claimed — and still claims — that the presidential election was rigged on behalf of Joe Biden. In fact, no court anywhere in the country ever even partially accepted Trump’s rigged election claims.
‘It’s unequivocal that Trump was the magnet that brought the people to DC on the 6th. We have soccer moms from Ohio that were arrested saying, ‘Well, I did this because my president said I had to take back our house.’ That moves the needle towards that direction. Maybe the President is culpable for those actions.’
Trump has already been impeached over his incitement of the Capitol rioting, but further criminal investigations against him are still possible.