A well-known former federal prosecutor is making clear how significant it is that the Dept. of Justice decided to charge eleven people, mostly members of the far right wing anti-government extremist group Oath Keepers, with seditious conspiracy on Thursday.
Joyce Vance, the former U.S. Attorney for Alabama for eight years who is now a law professor and MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst, says the fact that DOJ used that charge on Thursday is “very significant” and means they believe they can prove January 6 was “an armed effort to overthrow our government.”
“The Justice Department when it speaks has a different burden than when folks in the political arena or in the news media speak,” Vance said Friday afternoon on MSNBC. “DOJ knows that if it makes an allegation, it has to be able to prove it in court with admissible evidence beyond the reasonable doubt. So the fact that DOJ is now calling what happened on January 6 “an insurrection” and referencing violence and the firearms – the storing of firearms across the river that you all have just been talking about, strikes me as very significant. It confirms the importance of this event. It was not a tourist day in D.C. It was not a riot. It was a an armed effort to overthrow our government.”
Vance says she believes DOJ has “a strong case,” says it’s clear DOJ has “cooperating individuals who’ve turned over, for instance, private communications that would be very difficult to obtain.”
“The fact that they have access to these communications, that they know who was talking to who but more importantly, what they were saying is essential in proving that conspiracy.”
“DOJ will have to prove that there was an agreement to do this, and it will have to prove who was involved in that agreement and what they agreed to do. The fact that they have access to cooperating individuals is what will make this case very strong. backing that up with of course the photographs that we’ve seen of people moving, you know, firearms wrapped in bedsheets into hotel rooms. The evidence in this case appears to have been very, very carefully put together before DOJ went to the point of indicting and setting forth its claim that it believes it can prove this.”
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