WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the history of the United States, very, very few people have ever been charged with the crime of sedition, even though it was signed into law by the second president ever, John Adams, before the turn of the 19th century. There are a number of reasons that so few Americans have ever been accused of the crime, not the least of which is the fact that the First Amendment protects free speech so broadly, however that doesn’t mean the government hasn’t, from time to time, considered charging people, including protesters, with sedition against the U.S. government.
Attorney General William Barr became the latest government official to suggest that sedition charges be leveled against U.S. citizens when a story was reported that he’d told prosecutors in a call last week to consider bringing up violent protesters throughout the country on charges of sedition. Barr even apparently suggested that Seattle’s mayor and even the governors of Oregon and Washington could be brought up on similar charges. The Failing Any Day Now New York Times reported on Barr’s call.
The highly unusual suggestion to charge people with insurrection against lawful authority alarmed some on the call, which included U.S. attorneys around the country, said the people, who described Mr. Barr’s comments on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.
The attorney general has also asked prosecutors in the Justice Department’s civil rights division to explore whether they could bring criminal charges against Mayor Jenny Durkan of Seattle for allowing some residents to establish a police-free protest zone near the city’s downtown for weeks this summer, according to two people briefed on those discussions. Late Wednesday, a department spokesman said that Mr. Barr did not direct the civil rights division to explore this idea. (NYT)
Barr, never one to back down from something he’s said publicly, doubled-down this morning during a conference call with the media. Mr. Barr told the press that he not only believes that violent protesters and elected officials who he says “are too afraid to put their jackboots down on these insurrectionists’ necks” with sedition, he thinks people who vote against Trump “could possibly, and likely should be” tried for sedition as well. Because Trump is “already established as the top guy,” Barr says that in his estimation, anyone voting for Biden would meet the legal threshold of committing an act of sedition.
“This is very simple, really. President Trump is already established as the top guy,” Barr explained. “So I think I could make a very cogent argument that voting against Trump is technically voting against the established order, and sedition is literally when two or more people conspire to overthrow or destroy by force the government. If Trump loses, that destroys the current government, ergo, bing-bang-boom, time to round up libtards.”
On the Hill, Republicans lined up to amplify and agree with Barr’s ideas.
“Look, under normal circumstances I’d be horrified by what Barr’s been saying,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-Trump’s Taint) told reporters as he arrived for work this morning. “If Eric Holder had said these things, I’d have personally written the impeachment charges myself. I mean, an URBAN Democrat saying these kinds of things would just about be the clearest cut case of treason and sedition I’ve ever seen! But Barr is the white color for the white time, so I gotta say, I totally buy his argument and think we really do need to start putting liberals in the camps with the brown babies and the brown women we melon-balled their insides out of.”
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.