The Department of Justice is reportedly considering sedition charges against members of the Oath Keepers militia over the Capitol protest on January 6.
“Justice Department officials have reviewed potential sedition charges against members of the Oath Keepers militia group who attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, and they have been weighing whether to file them for weeks, according to law enforcement officials briefed on the deliberations,” the report begins.
Oath Keepers Thomas E. Caldwell, Jessica M. Watkins and Donovan Crowl, were indicted last month for “conspiring” to obstruct Congress’s ability to certify the election.
“Law enforcement officials have given senior officials in the Justice Department’s National Security Division potential evidence that they gathered about the trio and an analysis of whether that evidence supported a sedition charge, but they stopped short of delivering a more formal prosecution memo or a draft of an indictment, one of the officials said,” the Times report continues.
The report notes that the confirmation of Joe Biden’s new attorney general, Merrick Garland, means that he will likely have the final say.
Over the weekend, Michael R. Sherwin, the federal prosecutor who has been overseeing Capitol riot cases told 60 Minutes that they are open to sedition charges for some of the people involved.
“I personally believe the evidence is trending toward that, and probably meets those elements,” Sherwin said. “I believe the facts do support those charges. And I think that, as we go forward, more facts will support that.”
The US government has not successfully prosecuted a sedition case in over 20 years.
“I have seen no evidence to support a seditious conspiracy charge against my client, Donovan Crowl,” Carmen Hernandez, the defense lawyer for one of the Oath Keepers told the NYT. “I was surprised that the former U.S. attorney would comment so publicly on the case.”