Former President Donald Trump attracted significant criticism in the wake of a riot on Capitol Hill earlier this year, with pundits and politicians alike blaming him for some role in instigating the violent siege.
While nearly three months have passed since those tragic events, the aftermath continues to present mountains of criminal allegations against those who participated — and federal investigators indicate that Trump’s role in it all is also under the microscope.
“I will tell you this”
Those revelations came this week in the form of a cable news interview with a former interim U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.
Michael Sherwin noted during a segment of 60 Minutes that prosecutors are leaning toward criminal counts of sedition against some individuals accused of perpetrating the so-called insurrection on Capitol Hill on January 6. Such charges would mean steeper penalties for those being prosecuted.
He noted that the U.S. government is especially interested in pursuing the elevated charges against militia groups as investigators seek to determine what role, if any, they played in planning the events of that fateful day.
“I will tell you this. I personally believe the evidence is trending toward [sedition charges],” Sherwin said. “I believe the facts do support those charges. And I think that, as we go forward, more facts will support that.”
As for the task of investigating thousands of individuals who showed up in D.C. for a rally that preceded the riot, federal prosecutors described the probe as the “most complex” in U.S. history.
“What I said was totally appropriate”
During the recent CBS News interview, Sherwin confirmed that roughly 400 people are currently facing charges of varying degrees related to their suspected involvement in the violence, noting that he anticipates many more names will be added to that list.
Amid continued backlash over his rhetoric leading up to the incident at the Capitol building, many of Trump’s most prominent critics predict that he could also face criminal liability.
Sherwin did not dismiss such speculation, revealing that investigators are “looking at everything,” including the former president’s possible role in the deadly event.
“It’s unequivocal that Trump was the magnet that brought the people to D.C. on the 6th,” he said. “Now the question is: Is he criminally culpable for everything that happened during the siege, during the breach?”
Trump faced a second impeachment attempt based on the issue but has maintained his innocence from the beginning. Days after the riot, he declared: “People thought that what I said was totally appropriate.”