Oath Keepers is under investigation for "seditious conspiracy" on Jan. 6, the FBI search warrant reveals
The FBI's arrest warrant, Mother Jones said, was looking for evidence related to possible violations of nine criminal laws, including "seditious conspiracies." The other violations are all of the crimes charged with the Jan. 6 defendants, including destruction of government property, trespassing, destruction of evidence, false testimony and obstruction of Congress.
As Marcy Wheeler has repeatedly pointed out at Emptywheel, the latter charge has been the federal prosecutor's primary means of indicting the insurgents, as conviction carries the same 20-year federal prison sentence as sedition, which is a harder charge to prove. In addition, it brings with it a terrorist reinforcement that can be used in conviction, just like sedition.
If you don't mention disability – and your sources don't explain that disability gets you exactly where you would go on a hate speech charge, but with a lot more flexibility to differentiate between defendants and a much lower bar of evidence (unless and until judges decide it was misapplied) – then your sources do not describe what is going on with the investigation.
For this reason, claiming that the January 6 siege was not "terrorism" or "insurrection" because the words were not on indictment documents completely misinterprets how the federal government is prosecuting crimes of domestic terrorism.
Eric Halladay and Racheal Hanna explained how this works on the Lawfare Blog: "Since there is no specific crime of domestic terrorism, prosecutors can use a range of charges in pursuing domestic terrorists," they write.
These include around 57 different crimes that can be charged as terrorism, including a range of crimes that the insurgents are accused of, such as malicious destruction of property and deliberate looting of federal property. But the main tool prosecutors use are terrorism enhancements that can be applied during conviction:
The enhancement can be applied to federal terrorist offenses … but more importantly, it can also be applied to non-terrorist offenses where the offense was aimed at intimidating or coercive government behavior, or a federal terrorist crime with the intention of promoting, intimidating or coercing a civilian population.
As Wheeler notes, “The Justice Department's disability indictment of the Jan. 6 rioters is a really elegant way to hold people accountable, while also providing the flexibility to differentiate between degrees of severity (until a judge approves this application of 18 USC 1512 repeals). "
Indeed, the federal judges overseeing the case recently raised the question of whether obstruction of Congress is the correct charge in these cases. During the hearing before District Judge Amit Mehta this week on the Oath Keepers indictment, the judge questioned prosecutors about the applicability of this particular law in the case, New York Times legal correspondent Alan Feuer reported on Twitter.
Mehta pointed out that Act 18 USC 1512 was originally passed as part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which was primarily a corporate reform act. The law, he said, appears primarily to stop obstructive acts such as document destruction and witness manipulation. Prosecutors replied that the use of the word "corrupt" in the law was consistent with the insurgents' actions. Eventually, Mehta seemed to agree, though the question of appropriateness remains in the air.
As Feuer noted, "Judge Mehta is now the second federal judge to wonder if the 1512 (state) indictment of obstruction, which aims to punish crimes such as manipulating witnesses (and) destroying documents, is good for the (January 6th) uprising. Judge Randolph Moss had similar concerns at a hearing last month. "
Wheeler notes that this may be why investigators in the Oath Keepers case are now investigating possible “seditious conspiracy” charges: “I have said that if the DOJ's use of 1512 fails, they will be the most serious culprits in the world accuse seditious conspiracy. This could be the first sign of it, ”she tweeted.
SoRelle complained to reporters about the FBI's seizure of her phone. "(D) hey all of my customers have my comms," she said to Mother Jones. "(It's) unethical like shit on your part."
SoRelle has claimed on Twitter that she has been attacked by the Deep State for her involvement in Mike Lindell.
As Mother Jones notes, the reference to hate speech in the SoRelle warrant does not mean someone will be charged with hate speech, but it is official confirmation that the FBI is investigating the possibility that it was committed. And as Reilly notes, "Enforcing a search warrant against an attorney triggers records in the Justice Department, and the move to seize SoRelle's phone would have required the approval of senior DOJ officials."
SoRelle told Reilly that she had met two law enforcement officers at her home and then went to a "Krogers / Starbucks" where they talked for several hours.
"I've got so much stuff in there," she wrote. "Either they think I'm the mastermind, or they wanted to browse everything for free – either way, it's unethical."