[Pnews] Barr Tells Prosecutors to Consider Charging Violent Protesters With Sedition
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Sep 16 19:03:44 EDT 2020
Tells Prosecutors to Consider Charging Violent Protesters With Sedition
Aruna Viswanatha and Sadie Gurman - September 16, 2020
Attorney General William Barr told the nation’s federal prosecutors to be
aggressive when charging violent demonstrators with crimes, including
potentially prosecuting them for plotting to overthrow the U.S. government,
people familiar with the conversation said.
In a conference call with U.S. attorneys across the country last week, Mr.
Barr warned that sometimes violent demonstrations
across the U.S. could worsen as the November presidential election
approaches. He encouraged the prosecutors to seek a number federal charges,
including under a rarely used sedition law, even when state charges could
apply, the people said.
The call underscores the priority Mr. Barr has given to prosecuting crimes
connected to violence during months of protests against racial injustice,
leading to major property damage, as President Trump has made a broader
crackdown on the violence and property destruction a key campaign issue.
U.S. attorneys have broad discretion in what charges they bring.
Federal prosecutors have charged more than 200 people with violent crimes
related to the protests, most of whom face counts of arson, assaulting
federal officers, or gun crimes. FBI officials earlier this year described
the perpetrators as largely opportunistic individuals
taking advantage of the protests.
In more recent months, police officials say they are alarmed by the
presence of armed fringe groups from both sides of the political spectrum
Mr. Barr has blamed much of the violence on leftist extremists including
antifa, a loose network of groups and people that describe themselves as
opposing fascism and which Mr. Barr has described as a movement advocating
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