Watchdog group goes after Trump with ‘criminal sedition complaint’
President Donald Trump is still facing backlash for his incriminating "Save America" rally speech delivered shortly before his angry supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. And now a non-partisan watchdog organization is also going after the embattled president. ]
Now, according to Law & Crime, the nonpartisan watchdog organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has joined the calls for Trump to be held accountable for his actions. In an open letter addressed to Acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray, the group developed what they have described as a "criminal sedition complaint."
CREW argues that Trump's words spoken at the "Save America" rally should be viewed as a blatant effort to hinder Congress' efforts to finalize the electoral college certification of President-elect Joe Biden's victory. The group alleges that Trump's actions were "part-and-parcel of a plan to violently overthrow the U.S. government by preventing the peaceful transition of power."
Pointing to 18 U.S.C. § 2384, CREW notes that the law states:
"If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both."
In a press release, CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder offered a full account of Trump's actions and the violence that ensued almost immediately after he made his remarks.
"At approximately noon on January 6, 2021, President Trump spoke to a crowd of supporters near the White House Ellipse at the "Save America March."President Trump told the crowd: "We will never give up. We will never concede . . . We will stop the steal!" He instructed his supporters to "fight much harder," and he admonished Republicans for not being "tougher." He told his supporters: "We're going to walk down to the Capitol . . . you'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong."
The complaint adds, "President Trump's supporters did exactly what he urged them to do. Shortly after the speech, Vice President Mike Pence and both houses of the United States Congress gathered in the Capitol to count the Electoral College votes. Not long after they began, the United States Capitol Police began evacuating congressional office buildings as thousands of people from the rally who had followed President Trump's instructions descended on the Capitol."
Bookhinder went on to express concern about how Trump will be viewed when the world reflects on Jan. 6 as he urged lawmakers and law enforcement officials to take immediate action to hold the president accountable. "In what will be remembered as a dark day for American democracy, President Trump and his co-conspirators appear to have engaged in nothing less than an attempt to overthrow the government by force," Bookbinder added. "This cannot go unanswered. The FBI and Justice Department must investigate immediately."
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