Prosecutor says evidence in Capitol riot charges 'trending' toward sedition

Michael Sherwin, the federal prosecutor who led the criminal investigation into the Capitol riot, said that evidence in the probe is “trending” toward sedition charges. 

Sherwin, the former acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, told CBS News’s “60 Minutes” that thus far, none of the more than 400 defendants have been charged with sedition, which is conspiracy to overthrow the government.

During the interview that aired Wednesday, “60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley questioned Sherwin about the sedition statute, saying it “seems like a very low bar.”


“I don't think it's a low bar, Scott, but I will tell you this: I personally believe the evidence is trending towards that, and probably meets those elements,” Sherwin said.

When Pelley asked if he anticipates sedition charges against some of the defendants, Sherwin responded, “I believe the facts do support those charges.”

“And I think that, as we go forward, more facts will support that,” he continued. 

Sedition charges those who conspire to “oppose by force the authority” of the government or use force “to prevent, hinder or delay the execution of any law of the United States.” 

The Justice Department has not pursued sedition charges since 2010, when prosecutors alleged that members of a Michigan militia tried to plan an armed conflict with the government, according to The New York Times. Prosecutors were ultimately unsuccessful with the charge in that case, with the judge ruling they didn’t properly show a “concrete" argument of sedition.

Sherwin headed the Capitol riot investigation until Friday after Channing Phillips became the acting U.S. attorney in D.C. earlier this month.


Out of the more than 400 defendants so far, hundreds allegedly trespassed and more than 100 allegedly assaulted officers. Two men were accused of assaulting Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died from injuries he received during the raid.

Several defendants have been accused of conspiracy to disrupt Congress’s certification of the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6.

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE called on his supporters to rally in Washington ahead of the certification process and march to the Capitol to “stop the steal” and has since faced accusations that his role sparked the violence.