Prosecuting sedition is hard, but it absolutely must be done

President Trump speaks to supporters before the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6. (Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images)

To the editor: I agree that those who participated in the assault on the U.S. Capitol deserve to be charged under federal sedition statutes. But I’m a little puzzled by columnist Harry Litman’s reference to seditious conspiracy only. (“Was the Capitol attack sedition? Pay attention to what the statute says,” Opinion, March 25)

There are federal statutes prohibiting incitement, assistance and participation in a rebellion or insurrection against the U.S., and another for sedition, which is the organized incitement to rebellion or civil disorder against the authority of the state. Both of these statutes seem pertinent.

I recognize that it can be difficult to prove a case like this, but I believe it’s appropriate and necessary to hold those people accountable who sought to subvert our democracy. Whether we technically call them insurrectionists or seditionists, their attack on our democratic institutions and officials cannot go unpunished.

Further, I think it’s crucial for former President Trump to be charged for his blatant and reckless incitement of that insurrection. He was, and remains, a traitor to our country, having betrayed his oath of office and the entire country with his outrageous attempt to overturn an election.

T.R. Jahns, Hemet

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