Opinion | What Does the DOJ’s New Jan. 6 Sedition Indictment Mean for Trump?

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law and order

There are certainly dots to connect between the White House and those charged with conspiracy, but is there reason to believe the department is actually closing in on the former president?

A pro-Trump mob gathers in front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. | Jon Cherry/Getty Images

Opinion by ANKUSH KHARDORI

01/14/2022 01:30 PM EST

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Ankush Khardori, an attorney and former federal prosecutor, is a Politico Magazine contributing editor.

The latest development in the Justice Department’s criminal investigation of the attack on the U.S. Capitol last year was a particularly inconvenient one for many conservative politicians and pundits.

On Thursday, only a day after Marco Rubio took to the Senate floor to mock the idea that “our government last year was almost overthrown by a guy wearing a Viking hat and speedos,” the department released an indictment charging the founder and leader of the Oath Keepers militia and 10 other people with seditious conspiracy. The indictment alleged an armed “plot to oppose by force the 2020 lawful transfer of presidential power” and “take control of the Capitol” on Jan. 6 to prevent the certification of the Electoral College vote in favor of Joe Biden.

For months, conservative politicians and pundits had been pointing to the fact that no one had been “charged” with insurrection or seditious conspiracy as proof that the media and liberals had blown the events of that day out of proportion. Among other things, the latest Oath Keepers indictment amounts to an official repudiation of that specious talking point, but beyond that, what might it tell us about the possibility that former President Donald Trump himself might get ensnared?

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