Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is staying in the rhetorical fight for justice for the attempts by Donald Trump and allies of his to overturn the duly documented results of the last presidential election — efforts that culminated, of course, in significant part in the 2021 Capitol attack.
After the recent jury conviction of four members of the far-right group the Oath Keepers on seditious conspiracy charges in connection to the Capitol violence, Schiff connected that development — which could leave the defendants with years-long prison sentences — to the push for justice against Trump. “Four more of the January 6 insurrectionists were found guilty of seditious conspiracy,” Schiff said Tuesday. “Justice is being served. But true justice also requires accountability for those who planned and stoked the attack, not just the foot soldiers. Those at the top.” Schiff already voted as part of the House committee that investigated the Capitol riot in favor of recommending Trump to the Justice Department for prosecution, making his message obvious.
The recent convictions of members of the Oath Keepers came in the second trial against members of the group that dealt with sedition allegations in direct connection to the riot. (The first saw founder and national leader Stewart Rhodes convicted of the same offense.) In this trial, prosecutors were direct in confronting the group, which included an individual — Roberto Minuta — who was involved in planned personal protection for Trump ally Roger Stone on January 6 before later joining the Capitol assault. Another defendant in this trial, Edward Vallejo, evidently returned to the Capitol grounds the day after the assault, presumably still intent on action, although that particular trek back didn’t culminate in much of anything.
Still, the threat was serious. Prosecutor Louis Manzo called members of the group “traitors” during trial. Manzo also directly argued that lethal violence, including against police, was a very real possibility as that day’s events unfolded. The defense — well, at least one of the defenses — from the Oath Keepers’ corner was that their actions on January 6 didn’t reasonably reflect a broader conspiracy, instead representing something that was just a sudden turn towards what amounted to violence. One of the defendants’ attorneys alleged that the breach of the building was a “surprise” to members of the group — which seems flatly contradicted by evidence of preparation for action. They extensively stockpiled weapons and spoke of moving decisively.