Politics

AG Barr wants sedition charges filed against Antifa rioters

It's about time.

Image Credit: justice.gov

The Wall Street Journal reports, “In a conference call with U.S. attorneys across the country last week, Mr. Barr warned that sometimes violent demonstrations across the U.S. could worsen as the November presidential election approaches. He encouraged the prosecutors to seek a number federal charges, including under a rarely used sedition law, even when state charges could apply, the people said…The call underscores the priority Mr. Barr has given to prosecuting crimes connected to violence during months of protests against racial injustice, leading to major property damage, as President Trump has made a broader crackdown on the violence and property destruction a key campaign issue. U.S. attorneys have broad discretion in what charges they bring.”

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The feds have charged more than 200 Antifa and Black Lives Matter scum with violent crimes related to the riots. Most charges are counts of arson, assaulting federal officers, or gun crimes. Justice Department officials have described the perps as traveling from all over the nation in a coordinated and organized fashion. Who is funding, directing, commanding, and providing logistical support to Antifa and Black Lives Matter is still a matter of conjecture. But the left wing suspects are myriad.

Do you agree that protesting is acceptable, but rioting is not?

But to prosecute a sedition case, the government would have to prove there was a conspiracy to attack federal agents or officials.  Those attacks would have to pose an imminent danger to the government. Experts note there is a thin line between free expression of antigovernment ideology, which is protected speech under the First Amendment, and a plot that presented an imminent danger and could justify a charge of sedition.

The sedition gambit has been tried before. Barbara McQuade, a Detroit U. S. Attorney in 2012 who used the charge, said prosecutors have struggled with how to approach and prosecute ideologically-motivated violent riots and plots. “You can’t penalize people for First Amendment activity, but it leaves fewer tools when you have a group plotting an attack of some sort,” said McQuade, who now teaches at the University of Michigan.

The Attorney General has been adamant that Antifa is a violent “Bolshevik” group. He understands they are not merely an opposition, but are actively, through violence, seeking the overthrow of the United States government. Their allies like George Soros, the Democrats, and Black Lives Matter aid and abett them in this campaign. It is also very possible that Chinese and Iranian money, supplies, and expertise have been involved in the riots. This is one of the most serious internal security crises the nation has ever faced. It will become worse if Biden is elected in November.

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“No question, antifa is a movement,” Bill Barr recently said in an NBC News interview. “They have websites. They are organized.…Anyone who has spent a moment at these things and heard their chants and what they’re calling for can see right away that they are, they say they are, revolutionaries, that this is a revolution.”

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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