Now that several members of the domestic terrorist group the Oath Keepers have been convicted for seditious conspiracy, many have suggested that disgraced, one-term former president Donald Trump should be charged with the same thing for his role in inciting the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The House Select Committee investigating Jan. 6 referred the ex-president to the Justice Department on four charges — obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress, conspiracy to defraud the United States, inciting or assisting an insurrection, and conspiracy to make a false statement — in December, but Hugo Lowell of The Guardian suggested Tuesday morning that the DOJ will likely try to build a narrow, “appeal-proof” case against Trump.
During an appearance on MSNBC, Lowell remarked:
“The Oath Keepers seditious conspiracy verdicts really come about because the government had concrete evidence that the leaders of the Oath Keepers effectively engaged in political violence to stop the peaceful transfer of power, and because it was presented in that way and because, you know, the Oath Keepers had a quick reaction force across the river in Virginia. They had weapons and ammunition, and they were texting about we can come to the Capitol, and, you know, bring fire support if you really need it. I think that’s the kind of evidence that’s convincing for a jury.”
“It’s the kind of evidence that we’re missing as of yet with Trump, and that’s why I think that the Justice Department is looking more at an obstruction of an official proceeding kind of thing for Trump, as opposed to, you know, seditious conspiracy. I don’t think it materially makes any difference because they are still really serious felonies and they carry lengthy prison terms, and the Justice Department doesn’t like to score big home runs, they like to score single hits, and if they can find one charge that sticks with Trump, they would much prefer that.”
Ultimately, Lowell concluded, the Justice Department wants a solid case that will stand up to any appeal:
“They want a sustained conviction, they just don’t want a conviction, they want to sustain it upon appeal,” he added, “and I think he was talking about how you want to make sure it follows through all the way. They’re much more likely to take a lesser charge that is more likely to be sustained than the big charge.”