In a column for MSNBC, Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe and former federal prosecutor Dennis Aftergut make the case that the decision by the Justice Department to indict eleven members of the Oath Keepers for seditious conspiracy related to the Jan 6th attack on the Capitol should be a game-changer for anyone involved in the planning of activities that day.
Getting right to the point, the two wrote, "We’ve reached a turning point on the road to accountability for those who led the Jan. 6 insurrection, whether they stormed the physical congressional barricades or not."
As they note, just because someone didn't storm the Capitol building and cause lawmakers to flee for their lives, doesn't mean that they can't be indicted for sedition.
Explaining, "That crime is, in effect, treason’s sibling. Under 18 USC §2384, seditious conspiracy is an attempt “to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or... by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States." It is punishable by up to 20 years in prison," they added, "This historic indictment creates an enormous incentive for the defendants to cooperate with the government and help fulfill Attorney General Merrick Garland’s Jan. 5 commitment to hold 'all January 6th perpetrators, at any level, accountable under law — whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy.' Four other Oath Keepers (at least) are already cooperating."
According to the two legal scholars, sedition charges could be in store for some Republicans who attempted to overturn the 2020 presidential election results -- even at a distance.
"As we have written elsewhere, the efforts by Republican politicians, lawyers and operatives to find corrupt but nonviolent ways to overturn the election results were 'Plan A.' Its failure required 'Plan B' — the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol — as the fallback option to keep Trump in power," they wrote. "In recent days, multiple media outlets have added to the evidence of just such a Plan A by reporting on forged electoral slate certificates — almost identically worded and formatted — purporting to name Trump electors in seven states that he lost. The fraudulent documents were actually submitted to the National Archives in December 2020, but without the support of state governors or secretaries of state, they were ignored."
Adding, "It appears that some Republicans hatched that unsuccessful national plan so that Pence might recognize 'alternate slates' as a basis for disrupting or delaying the Jan. 6 certification. On Jan. 13, Michigan’s attorney general referred her state’s fake elector documents to the United States attorney, a referral likely bound soon for [Merrick] Garland’s desk," she applauded the work of the DOJ and wrote, "We continue to hope that the Justice Department will promptly and exhaustively investigate the pre-Jan. 6 coup attempt that came perilously close to ending America’s constitutional world — not with a bang but with a whimper"
You can read more here.