Updated Mar 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Evidence indicates sedition charges likely over Capitol riots — prosecutor

Michael Sherwin, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, speaks during a news conference in Washington, D.C, U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 12

Federal prosecutor Michael Sherwin during a January news conference in Washington, D.C. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Michael Sherwin, the federal prosecutor who until recently was leading the criminal investigation into the Capitol riots, told CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday that evidence indicates sedition charges will be filed against some suspects.

Why it matters: Few people have faced this Civil War-era charge, which makes it a crime to conspire or overthrow the government. But Sherwin told CBS' Scott Pelley "the evidence is trending towards" that charge "and probably meets those elements."

  • "I believe the facts do support those charges. And I think that, as we go forward, more facts will support that," he added.

Of note: During his interview, Pelley asked Sherwin if investigators were looking into former President Trump's role in the Jan. 6 insurrection. "We have people looking at everything," Sherwin replied.

  • The Senate acquitted Trump of charges of high crimes and misdemeanors over the riots following his second impeachment trial, as they failed to reach the two-thirds majority necessary to convict him.

What he's saying: "It's unequivocal that Trump was the magnet that brought the people to D.C. on the 6th," Sherwin said.

  • "Maybe the president is culpable for those actions. But also, you see in the public record too militia members saying, 'You know what? We did this because Trump just talks a big game. He's just all talk. We did what he wouldn't do.'"

For the record: Sherwin stepped down from his lead role in the investigation into the Capitol riots last Friday, having overseen more than 400 criminal cases connected to the biggest criminal investigation in U.S. history, he told CBS.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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