A 'violent insurrection' on January 6?

Precision is vital, while ruling and remembering the past...

On a regular basis, the Justice Department reminds us of the more than 725 persons who have been detained for offenses relating to the events of January 6, 2021. More than 165 persons have pled guilty to federal charges. Many fewer (22) have pleaded to felony crimes. None has gone to trial. Prison sentences have varied from six months to a year and a half.

As we have observed previously, no one has been charged with treason or insurrection. Under pressure to do something that at least sounded significant, the Department of Justice recently charged a number of persons with seditious conspiracy. That seems very terrible. Is that correct?

If two or more people... plot to... obstruct, impair, or delay the implementation of any United States law, or if they seize, take, or hold United States property contrary to its authority, then they are guilty of sedition under the United States Code.

It doesn’t seem like that clause — no doubt the one prosecutors will cite in court — matches anyone’s definition of “insurrection.” It reads more like a federal form of obstruction of justice or resisting arrest.

Notably, the prosecutors have not charged anyone with insurrection, which is defined in Title 18, Section 2383 of the U.S. Code as: “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.”

I mention this because the Senate minority leader, whom I much like, recently said: "Jan. 6 was a violent insurrection."

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, should know better as an officer of the court. No one has been found guilty of insurrection. There hasn't even been a single charge filed. No more rounds were fired, either by police or protestors, other for the one that killed Ashli Babbitt, showing that Capitol Police did not consider the situation was hostile.

McConnell served as president of the Student Bar Association while a law student at the University of Kentucky College of Law, where he graduated in 1967. Lawyer, judge, and elected official who has sworn to preserve the Constitution, especially the concept of "due process," is an excellent candidate for this position. His public remarks regarding the probability of criminal behavior should be more rational and based on facts than they already are.

"An indictment or complaint is only an accusation, and all defendants are assumed innocent unless proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law," says the DOJ at the conclusion of every news release it issues on the subject.

It is not only a matter of debate etiquette that demands accuracy and factual support for claims. Some aim to exploit the events of Jan. 6, 2021, to disqualify possible candidates from standing for government.

Due to remarks he made on that particular day, the Board of Elections in North Carolina is trying to remove Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn off the state's ballot.

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment bars candidates who "acted in insurrection or revolt" against the United States from running for public office, according to election board officials, who challenged this in court. The submission said that "the state has the ability to regulate whether candidates should or should not be disqualified under section 3 of the 14th Amendment," notwithstanding the absence of any mention of trials, juries, evidence, or the presumption of innocence.

Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana is under fire from a possible competitor who wants to have him removed off the ballot for a vote he made on January 6, 2021. The petition expressly addresses Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

It's a poor idea to let bureaucrats select who gets to run for government based on a speech or a vote — particularly without any valid procedure. Only a small number of Democrats voted to certify the 2016 election results, so this isn't unprecedented.

We live in perilous times, therefore clarity and accuracy in both speech and thinking are crucial.

The Jan. 6 demonstrators were misinformed about the legislation restricting the possibility of Congress or the vice president to modify the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. The outcomes of the election did not trigger any constitutional clause authorizing Congress to interfere in the result. The demonstration surpassed authorized borders, and people should be held criminally liable.

However, it was not an insurrection, and we should use caution in our words until a court of competent authority says otherwise.

Worrying about the past is a fool's errand and antithetical to the character of the United States of America. This country, luckily, has been established by individuals — from the voyagers on the Mayflower to the tremendously affluent teenagers in Silicon Valley — who look ahead.

Living in the past is a mistake. So is being mistaken about what occurred in the past.

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