Jamie Raskin, God bless him, is hoping these seditious conspiracy charges shut up the congressional colleagues who claimed there was no insurrection, just some tourists who got a little carried away. (Good luck with that!)
But there’s another story behind these seditious conspiracy charges you probably don’t know. Watch this response to D.C. U.S. attorney Michael Sherwin’s appearance on 60 Minutes.
Yes, Michael Sherwin. The controversial appointee by Bill Barr, who skipped over career prosecutors to put Sherwin in the DC USA position. You probably remember that Barr stacked the various offices with Trump allies. (Which is almost certainly why Sherwin pushed to dismiss Mike Flynn’s guilty plea.)
After 1/6, Sherwin went on 60 Minutes and discussed potential charges in the ongoing case — which violated DoJ policy and put the prosecution in jeopardy.
Sherwin’s comments, which aired during a 60 Minutes segment on Sunday, were the subject of an emergency meeting called by District Judge Amit P. Mehta on Tuesday. Mehta called the attorneys for nine alleged members of the Oath Keepers charged in the Capitol riot, along with representatives from the Department of Justice, to make it clear he would not tolerate further such press appearances.
He ended up resigning to avoid being sanctioned. (Good riddance.)
The DoJ officials (including Mike Sherwin) appointed by Bill Barr (and Trump, for all practical purposes) seemed to be obstructing the actual investigation — or was it just incompetence?
Justice Department officials, including Michael R. Sherwin, an official who was overseeing the Jan. 6 inquiry at the time, denied prosecutors’ request to seek a search warrant for Mr. Rhodes, according to two people briefed on the deliberations. They concluded that the prosecutors lacked probable cause to do so without violating his civil liberties and rights.
After that dispute, two of the lead task force prosecutors contacted the F.B.I.’s domestic terrorism operations section to brief investigators on their proposed strategy to scrutinize the riot. They suggested that investigators look at rally organizers and organizations like militia groups.
Among the F.B.I. officials who opposed the approach were the deputy director, Paul M. Abbate, according to the people briefed on the plan. After bureau officials discussed the presentation with Justice Department officials, leaders in the deputy attorney general’s office — including Matthew S. Axelrod, then the No. 2 official in that office — informed Channing D. Phillips, the acting U.S. attorney in Washington, that prosecutors would not take such an approach to the investigation.
What does all this mean? That when Merrick Garland came into office, he not only had to untangle the godawful legal mess created by the Trump DoJ, he essentially had to rebuild the case from scratch. Garland, who was a meticulous prosecutor and judge, has never had a case overturned.
So when he approves someone’s indictment, you can be sure they will damn well stay indicted.
(Thanks to @MuellerSheWrote for the back story.)