Bill Barr urges violent protesters to be charged with sedition

Attorney General William Barr and top officials within the Justice Department have urged federal prosecutors to charge violent protesters who have burned buildings with sedition, an internal memo shows.

In the memo to US attorneys, Jeffrey Rosen, the department's No. 2 official, wrote that he and Barr have told federal prosecutors should aggressively go after demonstrators who cause violence.

The memo said prosecutors do not need to prove that protesters were plotting to overthrow the US government in order to bring rarely used sedition charges against them.

Invoking the rarely used law could instead be used when a defendant tries to oppose the government's authority by force, the memo reads. 

'In appropriate cases - for instance, where a group has conspired to take a federal courthouse or other federal property by force - you should consider a charge,' he wrote. 

Attorney General William Barr and top officials within the Justice Department have suggested charging violent protesters who have burned buildings with sedition

Attorney General William Barr and top officials within the Justice Department have suggested charging violent protesters who have burned buildings with sedition

The 'seditious conspiracy' statute: 

The 'seditious conspiracy' statute makes it a crime to plot to overthrow the US government or wage war against it.

It also outlaws attempts to stop authorities from enforcing the law. 

Those found guilty face up to 20 years in prison. 

US authorities used the law to successfully prosecute people who traveled overseas to fight American forces after the September 11 attacks in 2001. 

Prosecutors also brought sedition charges against nine members of an anti-government militia in 2010 who were charged with plotting a violent uprising but the case was dismissed. 

Advertisement

While the memo cited that as a hypothetical example, the real thing took place in Portland, Oregon, during clashes that erupted night after night between law enforcement and demonstrators. 

The 'seditious conspiracy' statute makes it a crime to plot to overthrow the US government or wage war against it, but it also outlaws attempts to stop authorities from enforcing the law. 

Those found guilty face up to 20 years in prison. 

US authorities used the law to successfully prosecute people who traveled overseas to fight American forces after the September 11 attacks in 2001.

Prosecutors also brought sedition charges against nine members of an anti-government militia in 2010 who were charged with plotting a violent uprising but the case was dismissed.

Barr has mounted an aggressive response to racial-justice protests that have sometimes escalated into violence in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd. 

He has deployed federal agents to disperse protests in Washington DC and Portland, Oregon, and urged federal prosecutors to bring criminal charges whenever possible. 

He has been pushing his US attorneys to bring federal charges, which is allowing him to to keep a grip on cases even if a defendant could be tried instead in state court.  

Federal convictions often result in longer prison sentences and sedition alone could lead to up to 20 years behind bars. 

It follows reports that Barr has asked whether Seattle's Mayor Jenny Durkan could also be charged with sedition for

read more from dailymail.....

PREV 'Are we in Cleveland?' Kamala Harris is caught on hot mic asking an aide which ...
NEXT Troubled girl, 16, takes her own life on school grounds