Reviving Sedition Prosecutions Would Be a Tragic Mistake

The ugly history of sedition trials


"That's insurrection against the United States of America," MSNBC's Joe Scarborough declared after an angry mob overran the U.S. Capitol. "If Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani, and Donald Trump are not arrested today for insurrection and taken to jail and booked—and if the Capitol Hill police do not go through every video and look at the face of every person that invaded our Capitol and if they are not arrested and brought to justice today—then we are no longer a nation of laws and we only tell people they can do this again."

Scarborough isn't the only one thinking along those lines. The airwaves have been filled with calls for charging not just the people directly involved in the riot but the people who spoke at the rally beforehand. The word sedition is getting thrown around a lot. Merriam-Webster reports that searches for the word spiked an amazing 1,500 percent on January 6, the day of the violence.

That would be a tragic mistake. The history of sedition prosecutions is rife with injustices, and the precedent, once established, becomes a grotesque Frankenstein monster. In many cases, the same people demanding prosecutions end up, when political fashions change, facing prosecution for the same offense.

World War II provides two classic examples. President Franklin Roosevelt's administration initiated two mass sedition trials under the 1940 Smith Act, formally known as the Alien Registration Act, which made it illegal to "advocate, abet, advise or teach" the violent overthrow of the U.S. government.

The first prosecution was against 23 members of the Socialist Workers Party, a Trotskyist group, for conspiring to overthrow the government by force. As is typical of these cases, the government never provided any evidence that the defendants had specific plans to do this, focusing instead on the potential that their abstract Marxist boilerplate condemning "capitalist wars" or playing up wartime injustices, such as police brutality, might incite insurrection.

Later in the war, the federal government hauled up 32 anti-Semites and other right-wing extremists in the largest mass trial in Washington, D.C., history. Most of them didn't even know each other before the indictment. The evidence was just as tenuous as the evidence against thr Socialist Workers Party. According to prosecutors, the defendants' writings against Roosevelt's foreign policy may have had an injurious influence on some members of the armed forces, undermining U.S. security. This, it was argued, was reason enough to send them to prison.

In these trials, the administration had support from members of the Communist Party. Only two years after the war ended, the government began prosecuting Communists under the same statute.

Those who want a new round of sedition prosecutions make the same argument: that inflammatory language—no more heated than in countless other rallies and demonstrations held every year—should be punishable because others may be moved to act.

None of the people now being singled out for political or legal retribution explicitly advocated the violent overthrow of the U.S. government, or even the violent occupation of the U.S. Capitol. Prosecutors, therefore, should concentrate on those who actually breached the building.

At times like this, we would all do well to remember the words of the late Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas in the 1949 case Terminiello v. Chicago.

Father Arthur Terminiello, a right-wing priest, had been convicted of inciting a riot after a fire-breathing speech in which he criticized Communists, Jews and others and condemned the protesting crowd outside the auditorium where he was speaking. In an opinion written by Douglas, an uncompromising defender of the First Amendment, the Court struck down the conviction. While Douglas deplored the content of Terminiello's speech, he argued that "a function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute." Speech, he wrote, "may indeed best serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger."

Trump's inflammatory rhetoric may well be worthy of impeachment and removal. In my opinion it is. But, in and of itself, it was not a crime worthy of jail time. Not unless we want to go down the ugly road of criminalizing strong or misguided opinions on a mass scale.

NEXT: 5 Profiles in Courage and Cowardice in a Trump-Dominated GOP

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  2. Trump should start pardoning every witsle blower and protester, and everyone the left hates.

    1. He’s fucked either way. I can’t wait to find out.

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    3. Trump has bigger fish to fry right now. He’s worried about being kicked out of ever running for President again. If he pardons all those traitors then even the Republicans in the Senate will turn on him. I thought he was going to pardon the traitors as well, but since they start the trial soon I don’t think so.

      1. “…those traitors…”

        When all else fails, try propaganda.

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  3. “Not unless we want to go down the ugly road of criminalizing strong or misguided opinions on a mass scale.”

    Sounds like that is already happening. Wake up.

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    2. Yup. Whether something is a “mistake” really depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. If your goal actually IS a reign of tyranny, sedition trials start to sound really good.

    3. Show me where they are even charging sedition just yet? Also the people who broke in the Capitol and were looking to kill Congress Critters are insurrectionists and seditionists, they absolutely should be charged. Possibly even with treason, but I don’t actually think they deserve the death penalty, other than the ones who killed that cop.

  4. Glenn Greenwald has been sounding the alarm over this new war on domestic terror. Ilhan Omar even warned against it.

    1. Shit, nearly the entire left side understood this back in the Bush days, but Obama taught them to love it.

      1. We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

  5. “Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric may well be worthy of impeachment and removal. In my opinion it is.”

    In what manner is ‘inflammatory rhetoric’ a high crime or misdemeanor worthy of impeachment? Do members of congress really want to set that precedent? Maxine Waters, Chuck Schumer, et al, I’m looking at you.

    Trump has a week to go in office. He’s got one foot out the door. This whole idea is petty and vindictive, and transparently so. If they go through with this in under a week, they’re just advertising that they didn’t bother with any sort of investigation, research, due process, etc. AT ALL.

    1. The only reason he has one foot out the door is his coup attempts have failed. He tried the court system and failed. He tried threatening the state election officials and failed. Then he threatened violence and incited an armed crowd to stop the electoral count. Thank God that effort also failed. He has falsely claimed victory since BEFORE he lost the election and has inflamed his cultish followers to “fight this illegal election.” What makes you think he will stop until the last second when he is finally escorted off the property.

      1. Then he threatened violence and incited an armed crowd to stop the electoral count.

        Said Milord without evidence.

    2. They will turn Trump into a martyr and rallying point for years to come. They will wish they hadn’t. And since they seem to think impeachment after leaving office if ok, they might want to distance themselves from Obama.

      1. I’m increasingly thinking that is the point. They want the right to treat him as a martyr because if he is no longer the voice of the Republicans, they actually have to engage them on ideas instead of screaming at them about how the existence of Trump makes them evil and unworthy of being listened to.

      2. meh if you just let people get away with attacking the Capitol whenever they get pissed then they will keep doing it. Now they shoot those fuckers if they even give the Capitol the stink eye. I think that’s the only precedent that has been set here. And no one is going to think of Trump as a martyr, just a fat Mango Mussolini wannabe that tried to overthrow the government.

        1. The legally elected government I’ll add

        2. “…attacking the Capitol…”

          When all else fails, try propaganda.

    3. I doubt we’ll ever see a President on the White House lawn making another speech about going down to the capital and taking back your country and fighting like hell again. So there’s that.

      1. And that, in a nutshell, is where this all leads. What is the next point of contention we can stop someone from speaking out on?

  6. It was sedition, no question about it. But there was no specific plan. The rioters just assumed that when they got to the chamber, the good lord would direct their action. No doubt that would include ripping Pelosi and Pence apart limb by limb. And they believed the country would rise up to defend them.

    Thank goodness for the brave police who saved the situation despite a near calamitous failure to plan. Yes that was likely part of the conspiracy.

    The inciters all know that sedition is illegal so were careful not to make any explicit or incriminating statements. But it had been going on for months. For example, the “Stop the Steal” guy wrote on Twitter a month earlier:

    Government that ignores concerns over the elections whereby they’re installed is an illegitimate government. It is no longer immoral to ignore said government. No consent. No social contract. ????????

    They go up to the line but are careful not to cross it. Meanwhile frustrated Trump supporters who got their asses handed to them on social media get the message and know what they have to do.

    1. No doubt that would include ripping Pelosi and Pence apart limb by limb.

      Said AddictionMyth without evidence. (But if there’s no doubt, I guess you don’t need evidence.)

      1. It’s terrifying to contemplate what the crazed mob would have done if the reps hadn’t escaped, based on its behavior before and during the invasion. A catastrophe was narrowly averted.

        But if you had fought for Trump before the election with the same persistence that you now attack his defenders like me and downplay mob violence and deny ever supporting Trump to begin with, he might have won. But you didn’t and you have only yourself to blame and there’s no justification for this sedition. The movement will crumble under its own cowardice and hypocrisy.

        Feel free to continue proving my point:

        1. We should convict people based on your contemplations and fantasies.

          1. The howling mob would have ripped the limbs off the ‘squad’ members with the same dogged determinism that your mob here now defends it.

            1. You are correct and the Trumpers know it but will never acknowledge it.

        2. There was no crazed mob.

          The level of damage is utterly inconsistent with the presence of a crazed mob.

          The thing you need to realize is that there were TWO groups there.

          One was a modest number of peaceful protesters (A tiny, tiny fraction of the protesters in DC.) who never did anything beyond a relatively small amount of petty vandalism, and certainly didn’t set out to hurt anybody.

          The other was a small group of seriously bad dudes who came planning on some major violence. These are the people who planted bombs at both the DNC and RNC headquarters as a diversion, and came prepared with flex cuffs, and had weapons staged just outside DC. Apparently they’d planned on kidnapping themselves some Senators.

          But neither group was crazed.

        3. “It’s terrifying to contemplate…”

          I guess if your mommy isn’t hugging you, it’s easy to get ‘terrified’, isn’t it?
          Go hide under your bankie.

        4. The thought police will soon put an end to these potential catastrophes before they are actually real.

    2. “no question about it” eh? I think you do not know what that phrase means.

    3. To understand why this thinking is wrong, others should read the article. You clearly didn’t.

    4. “They go up the line but are careful not to cross it.” You shot down your own argument.

      1. It was sedition, but it may not have met the legal definition. I don’t think they should be prosecuted for that anyway. The conventional charges like ‘violent entry’ are sufficient to punish and deter.

        1. “It was sedition,..”

          When all else fails, try propaganda.

    5. It was definitely a Jesus Take the Wheel act of treason and revolt. Some were there to kill them some congress critters though. They already had killed the cop and were ready to kill some more. Just because it wasn’t organized doesn’t make it any less heinous. Anyone who entered the capitol needs a few years to replay it in their minds while in a federal supermax.

      1. “…treason…”
        TDS-addled lefty shits should learn the definitions of words prior to making asses of themselves.

  7. While he watched the insurrection WITH GLEE from the White House, Trump received numerous pleas from members of Congress who were hunkered down in hiding during the siege. They begged him to send reinforcements or call on his supporters to disperse. He refused because he liked what he was seeing. He must face the consequences.

    1. He refused because he liked what he was seeing. He must face the consequences.

      Please point to the law that obliges him to do this.

      1. Gross negligence maybe if he refused to send reinforcements? Civil Rights violations? Really prosecutors due to the nature of the DOJ and criminal justice system probably have a long list of potential laws they can argue he violated (the same as they could do to any of us at anytime).

        1. Security preparation was under the purview of the D.C. police which falls on Congress.

          1. Security preparation was under the purview of the D.C. police which falls on Congress.

            Not quite. Responsibility fell in the first place on the Capitol Police, whose chief answers to the sergeants-at-arms of the House and Senate. (The sergeants-at-arms are elected by the two houses. That means that in practice they answer to Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell.)

            1. After that, responsibility falls on the Metropolitan Police Department, but the MPD answers to Mayor Bowser.

        2. Are you really this stupid? He violated “potential” laws? Refused to send reinforcements? Tell us who Trump could send if he wanted to. Why do you think there is such a thing as the Capitol Police, who serve under Congress’ authority? You seem to know nothing of our Constitutional system. Civil rights violations? What civil rights violations? Whose?

          1. He absolutely could have called for National Guard and reserves via governors. He probably sent standing orders for them to stand down until the mob was mostly through. Certainly the capitol police being refused for a few hours before NG were sent in and the mayor’s request for additional security being ignored points at something going on behind the scenes to allow the actual very thin blue line to get crushed by the mob. And it lasted for hours with no one doing anything, other than the cops that were already there.

            1. “…He probably sent standing orders for them to stand down until the mob was mostly through…”

              I’m going with stupidity; this steaming pile of lefty shit isn’t likely capable of sarc.

            2. You should omit the Wise from your name.

      2. While he watched the insurrection WITH GLEE from the White House, Trump received numerous pleas from members of Congress who were hunkered down in hiding during the siege. They begged him to send reinforcements or call on his supporters to disperse. He refused because he liked what he was seeing. He must face the consequences.

        He took an oath to defend the Constitution. He took part in and then ignored a direct attack on the Constitutional operation of the Congress.

        1. Do you just make stuff up to sound stupid, or were you originally stupid too?

      3. Would rather milord point to the evidence and not his childish daydreaming.

    2. Do you guys pop popcorn before you sit down to write your Trumptator fan-fiction? It seems like taking such creative license with words while impugning the character of people you have never met requires fuel.

      Or do you just sit back afterwards and stroke a white cat while cackling madly? I can picture it going either way.

      1. They stroke something, but it isn’t a white cat.

        1. But it *is* known colloquially as a “pussy”.

      2. There is ample evidence pointing that Trump is a piece of shit, we have decades of it. No one needs to actually meet him to know that. Just because he might make fun conversation over a beer doesn’t forgive the fact that he’s still a piece of shit.

        1. “There is ample evidence pointing that Trump is a piece of shit,..”

          And you manage to prove yourself a steaming pile of lefty shit in the span of just a few posts.

    3. Believing the election stolen is not a crime. Saying it was stolen is not a crime. Arguing that it was stolen is not a crime. Telling people it was stolen is not a crime. Trying to convince people it was stolen (regardless of the need or lack of evidence based on the gullibility of the person you are attempting to persuade) is not a crime.

      Cut that language out of his speech. Because on its own, if you prosecute or condemn you are doing so PURELY out of a bias for your beliefs (no matter how right or wrong) over others.

      Once you cut that language out… please vote an example of sedition, incitement, a call to violence… ANYTHING. He did respond within about an hour of the whole thing kicking off in which he a) did not give up his not-yet-illegal beliefs of a stolen election and b) called for peace.

      I am GLAD he lost (I am terrified that Biden won). I will LOVE seeing him go so past friends and relatives on both sides can lose their various forms of TDS. But once you dispassionately look at the actual reality of what HE did and said (and not that of others)… there is no just world in which he is condemned.

      1. He told them to go down and fight like hell. If you stir up a mob, you are responsible for what they do. Lots of nazi miltiary officers probably never lifted a finger to kill anyone but ordered the deaths of thousands and they are also culpable for those deaths. Same with a CEO who tells engineers to ignore design safety issues in an airplane.

        1. “He told them to go down and fight like hell…”

          1. From the transcript of Trump’s Jan 6 speech:

            I said, “Something’s wrong here. Something’s really wrong. Can’t have happened.” And we fight. We fight like Hell and if you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.

        2. Hillary once said: “never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. It is, it is worth it.”

          Biden said in his inauguration speech: “And I promise you I will fight … and defeat the lies.”

          Biden also said: “The battle is perennial and victory is never assured.”

          It’s almost as if politicians frequently use words like “fight” and “battle” but aren’t calling for physical violence. Wow, go figure.

          Additionally, I noticed you conveniently left out the ending of Trump’s speech, where he said: “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard…”

  8. Beito didn’t take his blue pill. Reason‘s slipping letting these insurrectionist alt-right anarchists spew their racist, sexist LGBTQ+phobic antigovernment sedition on a libertarian website. Consider yourselves reported.

  9. “That’s insurrection against the United States of America,” MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough declared after an angry mob overran the U.S. Capitol.”

    Joe will say anything to get Mika’s dress off.

    1. Anything is better than explaining how a young, attractive intern ended up dead in your locked office with her panties tied around her neck.

  10. Not unless we want to go down the ugly road of criminalizing strong or misguided opinions on a mass scale.

    I believe you will find a sizable contingent already prepped to chant “Yes, we can!”

  11. Yahbut

    None of the examples resulted in the invasion of the halls of congress immediately after the speech and while they were in the middle of counting the votes that voted the speaker out of office.

    Not sure I disagree with the overall point, but if there is such a thing as sedition….

    1. “…but if there is such a thing as sedition….”

      TDS-addled lefty shits like you wouldn’t know it.

  12. And the politicians who explicitly encouraged the burning, looting, and murdering, even called it not violent enough, withdrew police protection from business and residential districts, dismissed all charges, and even gave government resources to the autonomous zones?

    There’s true sedition, true criminality.

    1. It seems the libertarian is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

      We say what the left did deserves punishment… the left says “Whataboutism doesn’t justify Trump! And you don’t know what happend! Your eyes lie!”

      When you say what happened at the Capitol was wrong, the Trump supporter says “You are a cuck! Why do you want Biden and the progressives to get away with burning down this country!!”

      It is as if both sides are incapable of having principles. But to those around here should then respond with… “No shit… that’s what we keep saying.”

      1. Actually the ones called Trump cultists here say:

        What happened at the Capitol is wrong. Nothing in Trump’s speech was sedition by definition. Why also did you ignore all of the BLM violence which was orders of magnitude larger in scope.

        So you’re half right?

    2. How about providing some actual quotes with citation from all those politicians who explicitly encouraged burning, looting, and murdering? Should be easy enough to find.

  13. Well, since I’ll be accused of “whataboutism” whatever I write, I’ll own it upfront.

    What about a conspiracy to take down a lawfully elected President via false information, lies under oath, and tampering of evidence? Surely Mueller, the senior FBI, and almost certainly the senior CIA, then-President Obama, and then-Vice President Joe Biden as well, aided and abetted by elected Democrats and the MSM, qualify much more comprehensively than Trump for charges.

    I used to respect Reason a lot, I’m a 30+ year reader (I remember when Virginia Postrel was new here), but not so much now.

    1. I’m beginning to have my doubts too, what with all this impeachment bullshit after their guy won anyway. It’s turned into pure revenge for being rude and crude, lewd and loud.

      I can understand despising Trump the person, and he had tons of stupid and ignorant policies to hate too. But Biden has no good policies and many that are worse. How anyone claiming to be libertarian could vote for such a classic tax and spend control freak who supports the Green Raw Deal is beyond my understanding. TDS is real.

      1. I was born and raised in New York City, and could no more bring myself to vote for Donald Trump in 2016 than for Hillary Clinton.

        But after seeing the calls to impeach before he so much as took office, the scurrilous proceedings against him and against General Flynn as whipping boy, listening to lie after lie as the economy boomed, minority females started record number of businesses and gained the greatest income percentage increases, no new wars, taking on China (not well, perhaps, but at least he isn’t making US inventors grab their ankles for a shafting by the CCP), and formalizing peaceful relations among Israel and a significant portion of the Arab world, I voted for him in 2020.

        The Democrats will not get a vote from me for the foreseeable future. And I’ll be looking to help primary out RINOs. The establishment Uniparty is a disgrace to the founding principles of this nation.

        Yes, TDS is real. Otherwise sensible people I know got very bad infections. It’s as detrimental to the mind as COVID-19 is to the body, and has a far lower recovery rate as yet.

        1. I agree with everything you said except the parts about being born and raised in New York, and voting for Trump in 2020.

          (He was polling up by 15+% in my state, so I safely voted for JoJo. I would have voted for Trump if he had been down or if it had been close.)

          1. My vote this election was an anti-Democrat protest. For the first and likely only time, I voted straight Republican, and wrote in candidates where possible so that the Democrats were last choice in my newly ranked-voting state.

            My Maine district gave Trump one electoral vote, as in 2016, with the rest of the state (more people, a lot less land) went D.

  14. Trumps words pale in comparison to the inflammatory speeches of prominent Democrats these past four years. The hypocrisy and the double standard is telling.

    1. Nice what-aboutism. Got any more? How about “The Capitol Rioters are excused because Antifa rioted”? Or “Mommy, Billy did it, too!!!”

      1. Except that is not his argument. The argument is if Trump’s words were so inflammatory, why was that same standard of inflammatory speech not applied to any of the many, many riots that occurred over the summer and are still occurring now? What is the magic in this man’s voice, and his only, that compels all of this insurrection with a single word like ‘fight’ that is never present in any other rioting mob?

        1. Please share the transcript of Joe Biden’s speech at a George Floyd protest that devolved to looting and rioting. I’ll wait.

          In the meantime, here’s Joe Biden’s speech on May 31, 2020:
          “We are a nation in pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us. We are a nation enraged, but we cannot allow our rage to consume us. We are a nation exhausted, but we will not allow our exhaustion to defeat us,” Biden said in an official statement released on Sunday.

          Biden said that the nation was clearly “furious at injustice,” emphasizing the “rawness of trauma” experienced by people of color nationwide.

          “Protesting such brutality is right and necessary,” the former vice president said. “It’s an utterly American response. But burning down communities and needless destruction is not. Violence that endangers lives is not. Violence that guts and shutters businesses that serve the community is not.

          And here’s the President of Peace’s statement: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” the president tweeted on Friday morning.

          1. Wow, that one quote from campaigning Joe Biden says it all. It really disputes all that has happened throughout the last year and cements your position.
            Even though MBP’s position was “the inflammatory speeches of prominent Democrats”, for example, Kamala Harris, AOC, Maxine Waters, Ilhan Omar, you’ve given us a true example of how Mr. Trump ‘should have’ behaved and as such is fully responsible for all outcomes of his constituency.
            Well played sir.

            1. Perhaps you didn’t read MBP’s comment: “Trumps words pale in comparison to the inflammatory speeches of prominent Democrats these past four years. The hypocrisy and the double standard is telling.”

              I gave one example of a prominent Democrat AT THE SAME LEVEL — President. That seems to concern you. There are other Biden quotes on the same topic. I can post more if that makes you feel better.

              And here’s what Ihlan Omar said, also on May 31st. It’s hardly an inflammatory endorsement of looting and rioting:

              Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar said Sunday it’s hard walking the line between “extreme aggression” in confronting injustice and avoiding burning down cities as people protest the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

              But the congresswoman also attributed much of the destruction to people “not interested in protecting black lives.” Setting fires risks the community that people claim to be standing for, Omar said, adding: “There are people who exploited the pain that communities are feeling and ignite violence.”

            2. Kamala Harris, August 27, 2020 speech:

              The California senator also condemned the pockets of violence that ensued after Blake’s shooting. “We must always defend peaceful protest and peaceful protesters. We should not confuse them with those looting and committing acts of violence, including the shooter, who was arrested for murder. And make no mistake we will not let these vigilantes and extremists derail the path to justice. “

            3. AOC, May 30, 2020, Instagram video:

              “If you are calling for an end to this unrest, and if you are a calling for an end to all of this, but you are not calling for the end of the conditions that created the unrest, you are a hypocrite,” she said.

              “This is not to condone violence, this is not to condone any of that,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “But we have to really ask ourselves the question as to why so many people were okay ignoring these problems until a window got broken. Why does it take that for people to pay attention?”

            4. Maxine Waters, May 30, 2021, interview:

              “Young people, they have a whole new definition for ‘looting,’” the 81-year-old congresswoman said said. “They say ‘looting’ is predatory lending in, you know, minority neighborhoods, where they’re paying 300 and 400 percent on loans by these payday lenders. … You know, on and on and on. They have a different definition for it.”

              1. Yup. You’ve cherry picked some nice comments there. Though the Waters one does come close to the point about two wrongs making it okay to justify the right(eous) looting according to us. And Joe was not the President nor even the elect at the time but okay. Nice grouping. The Trump speech at the Capitol fits right in with it’s vague call to fight the powers that be and to protest peacefully and patriotically. Seems about the same/same. Are you saying that is the most vitriolic words you found from those democratic leaders?
                Because there are others, such as this from Kamala: ‘They’re not gonna stop […] this is a movement I’m telling you, they’re not gonna stop. And everyone beware, because they’re not gonna stop, they’re not gonna stop before election day in November, and they’re not gonna stop after election day […] and everyone should take note of that on both levels, that they’re not gonna let up, and they should not, and we should not.’
                Maxine: ‘Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. ‘
                Are we closer now?

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  17. In regard to the rioters who invaded the Capitol Building, sedition is not the proper term. Instead, they could be charged under 18 U.S. Code § 2384 – Seditious conspiracy (see below; edited for conciseness). The rioters delayed the execution of the Electoral Count Act and also seized property of the United States, namely, the US Capitol Building and its contents.

    “If two or more persons … in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States conspire to … by force prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.”

    1. Or they could be charged with criminal trespass and vandalism. Which is the extent of the ‘insurrection!!!’
      Give it a rest.
      Inflaming the words does not make it thus.

      1. Umm, criminal trespass and vandalism are “law of the United States”. You know, what you should do is view the actual videos and look at actual photos of what happened and the aftermath. You wouldn’t consider it “inflaming” if you did an honest assessment.

        For example, the man carrying a Confederate flag in the Capitol Rotunda. The smashed windows. The copy who died after being smashed in the head with a fire extinguisher. The broken furniture. The stolen podium. Why are you okay with those things?

        1. ‘cop’ not ‘copy’

        2. But you are calling it Seditious Conspiracy. My calling it criminal trespass and vandalism doesn’t mean I am okay with it, it means I do not consider the histrionic hyperbole surrounding the event as dire as the MSM seems to find it. It is not okay that people died at the event, but people die in mobs sometimes, even at Walmarts and Who concerts when the mob gets unruly. Mobs often devolve. We watched it all summer.
          I don’t conflate a man carrying a Confederate flag in the Rotunda as an assault on our democracy. Looks more like a man doing something stupid that was caught up in the moment. Maybe he’s a redneck, maybe he’s a white supremacist, maybe he’s a Southerner who thinks the confederacy is part of his unique heritage and he is proud of who he is. The fact is I DON’T KNOW. So to assume any and all of those is to add meaning where none may exist.
          I fee l badly for the cop that died, as a result of the blow to the head or other causes. Again that is not clear, but I have heard it described as the Cop was bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher by an angry mob. Is that what happened?
          Yes, windows were smashed, offices were broken into, doors were broken. I am not okay with any of that in the same way I am not okay with peoples livelihoods being burnt to the ground in a mostly peaceful way or a young woman getting shot in the melee. Those things happen in a riot. There is real danger.
          But none of that takes away from my belief that as citizens of this country we are not able to have our voices heard when we disagree with our government. The histrionics and hyperbole are used to dilute the real message, that those protesters do not deserve to be heard because (WE) frame them a certain way and this is the truth (WE) must all believe now.
          I’ll quote you – Why are you okay with those things?

          1. An “angry mob” doesn’t wield a fire extinguisher. Only one person can. Do the leftists and the FBI dare reveal who that person was?

  18. Those sedition horror cases were the government oppressing private citizens and private sector entities extending and expanding its power to do so via sedition prosecutions. Trump and his co-conspirators, from Trump himself to the many cops involved, are the government oppressing private citizens, private sector entities, and a superior branch of government by extra-legally extending and expanding their power by way of sedition.

    The argument against charging Trump and his co-conspirators with sedition is the argument that because government actors oppressed people in the past government they are now immune to prosecution for oppressing people now – insane.

  19. Trump is less likely to be convicted by a Senate vote that requires 17 Republicans to concur, than by a DC Jury of 12 Democrats. Both may happen, but the latter is far more likely.

  20. That’s the problem with sedition and similar laws – all prosecutions under them are political. You can burn down a federal building, and not be charged because the local politicians are on your side, but hand out pamphlets against a war the progressives like and a Supreme Court Injustice will compare it to shouting fire in a crowded theater.

    Prosecute the real crimes – In Portland, arson, rioting, and the intimidation and coercion that allowed four murders, among other crimes. In DC, prosecute rioting, breaking and entering, and intimidation, but most of all, find out who killed a police officer with a fire extinguisher – but perhaps that is the last thing the FBI wants because it was one of their agent provocateurs.

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