Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos
Federal investigators may have sufficient evidence to charge some defendants involved in the Capitol riot with seditious conspiracy, according to the federal official who until recently was in charge of the investigation.
"I personally believe the evidence is trending toward that, and probably meets those elements," former interim U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin told 60 Minutes in an interview that aired Sunday, just a couple days after he stepped down from leading the probe. Such a charge is rare and is brought against people who employ violence to block the execution of federal law.
Sherwin added that he believed the current facts "support those charges," and he predicted more evidence might also come to light to buttress such a charge. "I think that, as we go forward, more facts will support that," he said, according to TheWashington Post.
The comments from Sherwin echoed sentiments he offered in late January when he said investigators were "closely" reviewing evidence related to sedition in several cases. "I think the results will bear fruit very soon," Sherwin said on Jan. 26. The fact that he has now reiterated that view suggests the facts have progressed in the manner he originally foresaw.
The U.S. attorney's office for the District of Columbia has already charged some 20 members of the extremist group the Proud Boys with making an initial push to overrun the Capitol. The latest of those indictments included a conspiracy charge against Proud Boys leaders from Washington State, Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania for trying to obstruct congressional certification of the 2020 election and police actions to maintain order.
Ten members and associates of the far-right group the Oath Keepers have also been charged with conspiring to obstruct Congress. The Justice Department is now reviewing whether the evidence supports some sort of larger conspiracy case that can be brought.
The Post reports that the two right-wing groups now account for about ten percent of the 300 people charged in the Capitol riot. Authorities have predicted that at least 400 rioters will end up indicted for their roles in the Jan. 6 attack.
Sherwin also told 60 Minutes that prosecutors are examining whether suspects toured the Capitol days before the attack in an effort at "casing or doing reconnaissance runs" for the January 6 siege.
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