Trump could be culpable for his role in US Capitol riot: Ex-prosecutor

By: |
March 22, 2021 4:44 PM

Trump has faced accusations, particularly from Democratic lawmakers, that his call to supporters to rally in DC and march to the Capitol on the day Congress was scheduled to confirm the Electoral College vote sparked the violence.

Sherwin's candid comments come as he leaves his Justice Department post leading the Washington, DC prosecutors' office and its widening investigation into violence at the Capitol. (File image)

Former president Donald Trump could be culpable for his role in the January 6 US Capitol riot, an ex-top prosecutor who previously led the criminal investigation into the incident said.

Michael Sherwin, the former acting DC US attorney, also said he believes sedition could be a charge made against some Capitol riot defendants, CBS News reported.

Sherwin said it was “unequivocal” that the former president was “the magnet that brought the people to DC on the 6th” before his supporters stormed the Capitol building.

“We have plenty of people — we have soccer moms from Ohio that were arrested saying ‘Well, I did this because my president said I had to take back our house,'” he told CBS News in an interview aired on Sunday.

“That moves the needle towards that direction. Maybe the president is culpable for these actions,” he said.

Sherwin noted that other rioters have acknowledged they went further than Trump’s speech.

Sherwin’s candid comments come as he leaves his Justice Department post leading the Washington, DC prosecutors’ office and its widening investigation into violence at the Capitol. He was appointed to the job during the Trump administration.

Attorney General Merrick Garland and Sherwin’s successor, acting US Attorney for DC Channing Phillips, have not directly addressed whether Trump, 74, will be investigated.

When asked if investigators were looking into Trump’s role, Sherwin responded, “We have people looking at everything, correct. Everything’s being looked at.”

No public officials have been charged with crimes related to the Capitol riot investigation, and prosecutors have focused so far on bringing criminal cases against rioters who breached the Capitol grounds and against members of extremist groups who are alleged to have coordinated before the attack which left five people, including a police officer, dead.

The ex-President has denied responsibility.

Trump has faced accusations, particularly from Democratic lawmakers, that his call to supporters to rally in DC and march to the Capitol on the day Congress was scheduled to confirm the Electoral College vote sparked the violence.

The former president, a Republican, was impeached for a second time a week before his presidency ended over the insurrection but was acquitted by the Senate.

Ten House Republicans voted in favour of impeachment and seven Senate Republicans voted to convict Trump.

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