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America’s Justice System Says Jan. 6 Was Neither A Terrorist Attack Nor An Insurrection

US Capitol
Image CreditFlickr/John Brighenti

Anyone waiting for the first hysterical 9/11 comparison on the first anniversary of Jan. 6 didn’t have to wait long.

“Certain dates echo throughout history, including dates that instantly remind all who have lived through them where they were and what they were doing when our democracy came under assault,” Vice President Kamala Harris said early Thursday morning. “Dates that occupy not only a place on our calendars, but a place in our collective memory. December 7th, 1941. September 11th, 2001. And January 6th, 2021.”

A few minutes later, President Biden compared it to the Civil War.

“Rioters rampaging, waving for the first time inside this Capitol, the confederate flag that symbolized the cause to destroy America, to rip us apart,” he said. “Even during the Civil War, that never, ever happened. But it happened here in 2021.”

This, Biden gravely intoned, represented a “dagger at the throat of America, at American democracy.” It was nothing short of an “armed insurrection.”

Not an Insurrection

Only it wasn’t, according to prosecutors and courts of law. Of the more than 725 people arrested and charged in connection with the Jan. 6 incident, none have been charged with “rebellion or insurrection” under 18 U.S. Code § 2383.

The law, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison, applies to “whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto.”

If, as Biden and Harris (and pretty much every Democrat in America) suggest, the Jan. 6 defendants had stormed the Capitol with the intent of overturning the results of the 2020 presidential election, then why have none of them been charged with it?

Not Sedition

In addition, if, as they have been alleging for a year now, this insurrection was really aimed at toppling the incoming Biden government and reinstating Donald Trump as president, then why have none of the more than 725 defendants been charged with “seditious conspiracy” under 18 US Code § 2384?

The statute provides that “if two or more persons … conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.”

Doesn’t that behavior sound exactly like what Biden, Harris, and the rest of the Democratic Party have claimed happened on Jan. 6? Didn’t a group of conspirators — egged on and perhaps even directly guided by former President Trump — take the Capitol by force in an attempt at destroying the government (as well as democracy itself)?

And if Trump — or anyone else supposedly fomenting and guiding the “insurrection” — was indeed advocating for the overthrow of the Biden government, then why have they not been charged accordingly? 18 US Code § 2385 criminalizes “advocating the overthrow of government,” which it defines as knowingly or willfully advocat[ing], abet[ting], advis[ing], or teach[ing] the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States.”

Not a Terrorist Attack

After 365 days of criminal investigations, there has not been enough evidence to bring such charges against any of the more than 725 people arrested in connection with what is now hyperbolically (and laughably) considered a 9/11-like attack on the Capitol.

Were this an actual domestic terror attack, it would have been charged as such. It was not. Not one of the more than 725 Jan. 6 defendants has been charged with a terror-related offense. This will undoubtedly come as a shock to Biden, Harris, and any Democrat who believes their hysterical rhetoric.

Domestic terrorism is defined in federal law as “acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State” that “appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.”

If the Jan. 6 “terrorists” really had brought gallows into the Capitol with the intent of hanging then-Vice President Mike Pence if he didn’t acquiesce to their demands to stop the electoral vote certification, then why have none of them faced a domestic terrorism sentencing enhancement?

Under the law, such an act “calculated to influence or affect the conduct of government by intimidation or coercion, or to retaliate against government conduct” is considered a “federal crime of terrorism” and can thus be used to enhance a federal sentence.

Wasn’t the whole point of the Jan. 6 “insurrection” to affect the certification of the election through intimidation and coercion? Why haven’t the charges or sentences reflected this?

The answer is as simple as it is predictable: The reality of Jan. 6 is nowhere near Democrats’ rhetoric about it. Jan. 6 was a riot and a national embarrassment, but it was not an insurrection, an attempted coup, or the worst attack on America since 9/11 or Pearl Harbor.

If it were, the criminal charges would have reflected it.