President Donald Trump could face criminal charges for inciting the murder of a Capitol Police Officer during the violent takeover of the U.S. Capitol that he encouraged, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former inspector General David C. Williams said Monday.
In a column published by Politico, McCabe and Williams made the case that Trump could face criminal charges, even if he didn’t storm the Capitol himself.
“The world watched in horror Wednesday as a violent insurrectionist mob attacked the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to obstruct the democratic process of certifying the vote for president. Five Americans died in the attack, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. If the federal investigation into the deaths determines that those responsible were incited to violence at the Save America rally that occurred just hours before, President Donald Trump could face criminal charges, even if he didn’t storm the Capitol himself,” they wrote.
“The federal criminal code (18 USC 373) makes it a crime to solicit, command, induce or ‘endeavor to persuade’ another person to commit a felony that includes the threat or use of physical force. Simply put, it is a crime to persuade another person, or a mob of several thousand, to commit a violent felony.” the former officials added.
The federal criminal code makes it a crime for “two or more persons … to oppose by force the authority [of the United States] or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States” (18 USC 2384). “That felony, including the use of force, clearly was committed by the mob after being encouraged by the president,” they concluded.
Additionally, they argue, “Trump could also have a bigger problem. If the federal murder probe into Officer Sicknick’s death determines that those responsible were incited to violence at the Save America rally just hours before, Trump could find himself charged with inciting a murder.”
Federal authorities are conducting a broad and thorough investigation. “The facts uncovered in that investigation—not politics, fear or favor—will determine who is prosecuted,” macCabe and Williamns wrote. “While there is little question that Trump’s words at the rally, and those of others (Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump, Jr.), incited the crowd to what the Brandenburg court called “imminent disorder,” we will have to wait on the prosecutors to assess the merits of any possible cases.”