The Justice Department seems to be pursuing terrorism cases against right-wing extremists involved in the U.S. Capitol insurrection.
The department indicted three members of the Oath Keepers last week on a conspiracy to hinder the congressional certification of the Electoral College vote, and three members of the Proud Boys have been charged with similar crimes -- and prosecutors signaled they could face terrorism charges, argued legal analyst Marcy Wheeler.
"There is someone with whom both these groups agreed with and pursued some of the same steps as: Donald Trump," Wheeler argued. "These conspiracy indictments may build little by little based off what each group has done among themselves, but the framework for a much broader conspiracy is already in place."
The Justice Department referred to terror-related crimes when they asked a court to detain Proud Boy member Ethan Nordean while he awaits trial on conspiracy charges related to the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol that left one police officer and four Donald Trump supporters dead.
Wheeler pointed out that the request for detention invoked a list of crimes that could merit a terrorism enhancement, although no specific offense was identified in the filing, but she argued that shows the government is treating him as a member of a terrorist group.
An indictment against Proud Boy members William Pepe and Dominic Pezzola accuses them of attempting to interfere with law enforcement trying to defend the Capitol, while the Nordean complaint cites charges against Pezzola and Proud Boys members Joe Biggs and Robert Gieswein but does not yet accuse them of working together.