The FBI is investigating some of the people who participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection for seditious conspiracy, a serious federal crime that can be punished by up to 20 years in prison.
Mother Jones reports that an attorney for the right-wing militia group known as the Oath Keepers found out some of her clients are under investigation for seditious conspiracy when the FBI seized her cell phone:
“Kellye SoRelle, the Oath Keepers’ general counsel, tweeted Wednesday that the FBI had seized her phone. The action would seem unusual, since SoRelle is a lawyer who says she has provided advice to defendants facing prosecution or investigation due to their actions on January 6. ‘[T]hey have all my clients and my comms,’ she commented in a message to Mother Jones. ‘[It’s] unethical as shit on their part.'”
It’s unethical to seize potential evidence from an attorney who represents accused domestic terrorists? Apparently, Ms. SoRelle isn’t familiar with the way the Justice Department pursued the Black Panthers, Weather Underground, and Ku Klux Klan, all of whom were suspected of committing acts of terrorism on U.S. soil.
So far, prosecutors have charged 17 members of the Oath Keepers with being part of a conspiracy to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
The founder of the group, Stewart Rhodes has not yet been charged as part of the electoral interference conspiracy, but Mother Jones notes that indictments already filed make clear that he was indeed part of a larger plan to attack the Capitol:
“Rhodes is not named, but is identifiable as ‘PERSON ONE’ in court documents detailing his extensive online and phone communications with Oath Keeper members ahead of and during the siege of Congress. FBI agents seized Rhodes’ phone in May as part of their investigation. Rhodes had stated previously that he believes he may ‘go to jail’ over the events of January 6, but he denies wrongdoing and has accused prosecutors of trying to build a false case against him and fellow Oath Keepers.”
Bizarrely, SoRelle is now claiming that the seizure of her phone is part of a conspiracy involving MyPillow founder Mike Lindell, who has spread an absurd conspiracy theory that “Chinese hackers and Democratic Party officials” stole the 2020 election from Donald Trump.
However, the warrant itself makes clear exactly why SoRelle’s phone was taken:
“The warrant says the search is related to potential violations of nine criminal statutes: Those include crimes with which many people who entered the Capitol have been charged, from destruction of government property to trespassing and obstruction of Congress. The agents are also seeking evidence of false statements and obstruction of justice, including destruction of evidence, the warrant says.”
The actions taken against the Oath Keepers and their legal counsel are also potentially bad news for former President Donald Trump, who could also be charged as part of a seditious conspiracy if he had any contact with Proud Boys members prior to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Trump had claimed executive privilege to keep from turning over documents related to his knowledge of the Capitol insurrection, but Reuters reports the Biden administration has turned over all Trump-era information to the Jan. 6 House Select Committee. It’s safe to assume the DOJ will also have access to that information.