Assault on the Capitol: five far-right activists charged with “sedition”

A key figure in the American far right, Henry Tarrio, and four other members of the “Proud Boys” militia were charged on Monday, June 6, with “sedition” for their role in the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, the Justice Department announced. The five men, aged 31 to 45 and detained for several months, had until then been the subject of prosecution for “conspiracy” to interfere with official proceedings or for acts of violence.

The accusation 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. Meanwhile, the indictment adopted Monday by a grand jury accuses Henry Tarrio, leader of the far-right group, and four of his lieutenants of having coordinated the intrusion of a hundred members of this militia, created in 2016, in the Capitol.

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