It’s a rare accusation: five far-right activists were charged Monday with “sedition” in the investigation into the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021. American justice suspects them of having conspired against the American government preventing the peaceful transfer of power.
A key figure in the American far-right, Henry Tarrio, and four other members of the “Proud Boys” militia were charged on Monday with “sedition” for their role in the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, announced the Ministry of Justice. The five men, aged 31 to 45 and detained for several months, had previously been the subject of prosecution for “criminal association” with a view to obstructing an official procedure or for violence.
A rarely used accusation
The charge of “sedition”, very rarely used and punishable by 20 years in prison, goes further. It involves conspiring against the government or any of its laws.
Since the attack by supporters of Donald Trump on the headquarters of Congress, when elected officials certified the victory of his rival Joe Biden in the presidential election of 2020, more than 810 people have been arrested and charged, most often for trespassing in a federal building.
Only a handful, all members of another radical militia called the “Oath Keepers”, are also being prosecuted for “sedition”. At the same time, a parliamentary commission of inquiry is trying to shed light on the role played by the former Republican president and his relatives in this coup. She is due to present her first conclusions on Thursday, during a long-awaited hearing.
In the meantime, the indictment adopted Monday by a grand jury accuses Henry Tarrio and four of his lieutenants of having coordinated the intrusion of a hundred members of this militia, created in 2016, into the Capitol.
He himself was not on the spot: two days earlier, he had been arrested for the destruction of a “Black Lives Matter” banner and while he was in possession of weapons chargers prohibited in the federal capital . He had been released on January 5, 2021 with orders to stay out of Washington.
According to the indictment, he did not immediately comply and even met Stewart Rhodes, his counterpart in the “Oath Keepers”, before leaving the federal capital.