D.C. Attorney General: Prosecutors Could Charge Trump with Misdemeanor over Capitol Riots

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine speaks at a news conference in Washington, D.C., June 12, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine said Sunday that city prosecutors could potentially charge President Trump under laws criminalizing statements “that clearly encourage, cajole” or otherwise “get people motivated to commit violence,” after the president’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol earlier this month.

“Let it be known that the office of attorney general has a potential charge that it may utilize,” Racine told MSNBC, explaining that the president could face a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of six months in jail.

“It’s law in DC since 2011. It makes illegal the statements of individuals that clearly encourage, cajole, and otherwise, you know, get people motivated to commit violence,” he added.

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While the D.C. attorney general enforces local codes for the city, he does not have the authority of the U.S. Department of Justice, which prosecutes both federal crimes and major crimes committed in the district.

While his office has jurisdiction to pursue offenses including weapons, ammunition, curfew violations, and inciting violence, federal prosecutors are working to investigate and prosecute most crimes that occurred during the rioting at the Capitol on January 6 that left five people dead.

Earlier this month federal prosecutors said they are looking at all parties involved in the riot, including Trump and the role he played in inciting it.

“The federal charge carries far more jail time,” Racine said, adding that his office is “collaborating at a high level with the federal prosecutors.”

“(Trump’s) conduct prior to the mob storming the Capitol is relevant. I think his conduct during that time and immediately thereafter is also relevant,” he said. 

Last week the House voted to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection” for his role in sparking the unrest. A Senate trial will follow. Two-thirds of the Senate would have to vote for Trump to be convicted on the non-criminal charge. If the Senate votes to convict, it could then hold a vote requiring just a simple majority to bar Trump from holding office in the future.

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  1. The America we wake up to today, is one of discontent and disillusion, but our spirit still burns strong within all True Patriots!

    We will never back down nor cower in the face of adversity!

    We will always stand up for the truth and fight the good fight!

    Our time to rise is at hand and our Nation is calling upon us to lead them out of this misery!

    The greatest President in the history of our nation since Abraham Lincoln, President Donald J. Trump has said, “We will never concede, especially when theft is involved…,” and that, “This is only the beginning of our Incredible Journey to Make America Great Again.”

    Let us honor President Trump’s words and of the great Abraham Lincoln…

    “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”—Abraham Lincoln

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