U.S. Capitol rioters could face sedition charges -DOJ official

Federal investigators say they are weighing sedition charges against some of those involved in the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.

Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin told CBS 60 Minutes on Sunday, "I think that, as we go forward, more facts will support that."

Hundreds of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in a failed bid to stop Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential election victory.

The assault sent lawmakers fleeing, injured dozens of police and led to five deaths.

The Justice Department has already charged 400 people in connection with the assault, but none have yet been accused of sedition, the crime of opposing the authority of the U.S. government through force.

It’s a rarely-invoked federal statute that carries a punishment of up to 20 years in prison.

Sherwin led the federal investigation into the riot up until last week, and he was asked whether President Donald Trump faced possible criminal liability.

"It's unequivocal that Trump was the magnet that brought the people to D.C. on the 6th. Now the question is: is he criminally culpable for everything that happened during the siege, during the breach? What I could tell you is this, based upon, again, what we see in the public record, and what we see in public statements in court. We have plenty of people-- we have soccer moms from Ohio that were arrested saying, 'Well, I did this because my president said I had to take back our house.' That moves the needle towards that direction. Maybe the president is culpable for those actions. But also, you see in the public record too militia members saying, 'You know what? We did this because Trump just talks a big game. He's just all talk. We did what he wouldn't do.'

Charged with provoking insurrection at his impeachment trial in the Senate, Trump’s attorneys said blame for the violence fell squarely on those who committed violence, and that the president stood firmly on the side of law and order.

So far, most arrested in connection with the riot have been charged with trespassing or assaulting federal officers, with a smaller number charged with conspiracy to obstruct Congress.