District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine said Sunday on MSNBC’s “Velshi” that he was looking at charging President Donald Trump and others who spoke at the rally proceeding the deadly riots at Capital Hill on “inciting violence” charges.
Anchor Ali Velshi said, “You are considering bringing charges, that’s what the reporting is, against people for inciting this riot.”
Racine replied, “The reporting is accurate. The office of attorney general has jurisdiction over a number of potential offenses, including weapons, ammunition, curfew violations, and the one that’s gotten the most attention, of course, is the inciting violence charge. We’ve brought that charge before. It is law in D.C. since 2011. It makes illegal the statements of individuals that clearly encourage, cajole, and otherwise, you know, get people motivated to commit violence. We’ll balance the First Amendment rights of speakers versus this law and will be judicious with whether to charge and who to charge but every single person at that rally is being reviewed.”
He continued, “If one is talking about combat justice in a crowd that is all amped up and really focused on taking over a particular building, like the Capitol. I think it gets closer to that line. When folks are talking about fighting, fighting, fighting, I think it gets closer to that line. Ultimately, we’re going to have to do a thorough investigation, which is under way, including, I must say, talking to people who were at that rally, talking to people who indeed stormed the Capitol and went inside.”
He added, “You know, we’re looking at the president, of course you have to be, you know, incredibly diligent and responsible whenever you’re going to charge anyone. The president is not above the law. He’s not below the law. I think his conduct prior to the mob storming the Capitol is relevant. I think his conduct during that time and immediately thereafter is also relevant. You’ll remember it wasn’t until hours after the Capitol was cleared that the president actually made a statement of contrition and actually chastised and called the stormers rioters. That’s a long time after what everyone saw on their TV was an attempt essentially to undo our democracy. So we’re going to be thorough, patient, and rigorous.”
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