For more than a year – and after hundreds of Capitol Hill rioters have been indicted – the charge of “seditious conspiracy” has been leveled.  This is greeted with great joy from Democrats and their media allies – who have been leveling that charge in the court-of-public-opinion at EVERYONE arrested – and many who have not been arrested — since the January 6, 2021 riot.  

In fact, they have been expressing their frustration that all those who have been charged with much lesser crimes have not been indicted for insurrection, sedition, treason or an attempted coup.  They believe that politics – not the law – should be the determinant factor in indicting a person.

The seditious conspiracy charges were leveled at Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers, and another 10 members of the organization.  If they did, indeed, commit seditious conspiracy, I am all for throwing the book at them.  That determination will be made in a court-of-law sometime in the future.  

In the meantime, those on the left will violate a basic tenet of the American justice system – innocent until proven guilty.  The rush-to-judgment on the left will assume guilt – and the media will report as if guilt has already been determined.

In “convicting” the defendants in public, the media relies on the simple Oxford definition of sedition – which states that it is “the speaking or writing of words that are likely to incite ordinary people to public disorder or insurrection.”  MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan advanced that definition in support of his unprofessional (political) opinion that those charged ARE guilty.  But the law is much more complicated than that.  A literal interpretation of that dictionary definition would seriously limit the right to assemble, protest and speak out against government policy.

Even though I think the Oath Keepers are bad actors – and may have actually engaged in criminal activity – I also understand that seditious conspiracy is not easy to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.  That is one of the reasons prosecutors rarely charge it.  At this point, I would rate the chances of conviction at 50/50, at best.

Federal prosecutors have won convictions for sedition against foreign terrorists, but not against domestic groups.  In 1995, Sheik Abdel-Rahman and nine others were convicted of sedition. In 1936 and 1980 Puerto Rican nationalist groups were convicted of sedition – and yes, I know they can be considered domestic groups, but their intent was to gain independence from the United States.  The last and essentially the only case of a seditious conspiracy involving a purely domestic group charged with trying to overthrow the American government was in 2010.  It involved 10 members of a Michigan militia.  They were all acquitted.

Perhaps the greatest weakness in the government’s case against the Oath Keepers is the fact that they did not act on their threats and alleged plans.  They were part of the riot and entered the Capitol – and even how they got inside is a contested issue.  While they talked of violence and purchased weaponry, they did not come to the Capitol armed.  They clearly joined the rioters – and seemed to provoke and lead the rioting.  But that may not meet the threshold of seditious conspiracy.

Personally, I am not a fan of the Oath Keepers – and am not making a case for innocence.  I do see them as a hate group.  That means I will have to assume their innocence for the time being but will shed no tear if they are convicted – especially in view of what I saw in the indictment.  It is damning, but the final decision will be up to a jury – as it should be.  

Unfortunately, the rabid left will use these indictments to allege a much larger conspiracy.  They will use the broad-brush of political propaganda to point the accusatory finger at most of the Republican Party.  The left-wing media is already speculating that this will lead to many more major indictments for conspiracy – reaching up to President Trump, himself.  It will take a LOT more than this case to even come close to achieving their political objective of bringing down Trump and defeating the GOP in November.  

It is possible to peddle wishful thinking in the court-of-public-opinion – especially when so much of the media is politically compromised – but it is a far different matter when dealing in a court-of-law where rules-of-evidence and reasonable doubt apply.  

I caution my progressive friends – and yes, I do have them – not to get their hopes up too high … not to be too certain of the outcome of these cases.  And to be patient since these cases can go on for months – well after the 2022 Midterm elections.

So. There ‘tis.

By Larry Horist

So, there ‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

  1. This is not sedition. The Jan 6th riots were an effort by everyday Americans who just witnessed a questionable election and watched as our elitist elected officials ignored their concerns and requests for clarity by shutting down all challenges and rushing forward with certification. 74 million people voted for Trump. A huge percentage of those people had doubts about the outcome and still do. Our corrupt officials, including the courts, dismissed all their concerns as conspiracy theories and still do. Delaying the certification and investigating the concerns of these American taxpayers would have been the prudent thing to do. But no!! In lock step Congress lined up to vote to certify essentially shutting down any challenge of the outcome. Our representatives were not representing the electorate. Many many questions about the outcome still exist. Are those questions being addressed. No they are not. The Dems want to codify all the last minute changes to voting that were put in place due to the pandemic. Republicans want to codify procedures that would stifle some voters. Recounting votes is not an investigation of voter fraud when the election officials are the ones committing the fraud. The right thing to do would have been to stop the presses and investigate the concerns. Now we have both parties claiming fraud in the 2022 elections. Going forward, the party that cheats the best will win. Sound pretty Un American to me.

  2. OKs are a “hate” group only in there hatred of Marxists and communists in the Democrat party who are actively undermining our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Quit falling for the leftist slander. Maybe it would benefit you if you actually READ the oaths taken by our men in uniform both police and military. The “Hate” isn’t coming from them. This “hate” drivel you speak of is a major symptom of TDS .

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