Sedition, alive and well and prosecutable against Trump, 106 members of congress and Sheriffs around the US

Sedition is a serious felony punishable by fines and up to 20 years in prison and it refers to the act of inciting revolt or violence

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Sedition

Suppose that over the course of a few months, a small band of armed militants has coordinated strategies to distribute firearms and take over the nation’s capital by force through a website on the clandestine “deep web.” All indications show that the group is dead serious in its intentions, but they’re thwarted by an FBI investigation that leads to arrests.

While sharing information and discussing ideas — even distasteful ones — is generally protected as free speech, the FBI believes this crosses the line. The alleged ringleaders of the plot are charged with “seditious conspiracy” (simply referred to as “sedition“), a federal crime related to treason and other anti-government offenses.

Sedition is a serious felony punishable by fines and up to 20 years in prison and it refers to the act of inciting revolt or violence against a lawful authority with the goal of destroying or overthrowing it. The following provides an overview of this particular crime against the government, with historical references.

Seditious Conspiracy and Federal Law: The Basics

The federal law against seditious conspiracy can be found in Title 18 of the U.S. Code (which includes treason, rebellion, and similar offenses), specifically 18 U.S.C. § 2384. According to the statutory definition of sedition, it is a crime for two or more people within the jurisdiction of the United States:

  • To conspire to overthrow or destroy by force the government of the United States or to level war against them;
  • To oppose by force the authority of the United States government; to prevent, hinder, or delay by force the execution of any law of the United States; or
  • To take, seize, or possess by force any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof.

Free Speech, Sedition, and Treason

In order to get a conviction for seditious conspiracy, the government must prove that the defendant in fact conspired to use force. Simply advocating for the use of force is not the same thing and in most cases is protected as free speech under the First Amendment.

For example, two or more people who give public speeches suggesting the need for a total revolution “by any means necessary” have not necessarily conspired to overthrow the government. Rather, they’re just sharing their opinions, however unsavory.

But actively planning such an action (distributing guns, working out the logistics of an attack, actively opposing lawful authority, etc.) could be considered a seditious conspiracy.

Ultimately, the goal is to prevent threats against the United States while protecting individuals’ First Amendment rights, which isn’t always such a clear distinction.

Sedition differs from treason (defined in Article III of the U.S. Constitution) in a fundamental way. While seditious conspiracy is generally defined as conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of a state, treason is the more-serious offense of actively levying war against the United States or giving aid to its enemies. Another way of looking at it is that seditious conspiracy often occurs before an act of treason.

Seditious Conspiracy: Historical Examples

Many of the more high-profile seditious conspiracy cases won by the U.S. government involve Puerto Rican nationalists plotting to overthrow the U.S. and assert their independence. The first was Pedro Albizu Campos, who (along with nine accomplices) was convicted of sedition in 1937 and jailed for 10 years for attempting to overthrow the government.

He and others had been active members of the Nationalist Party, which (according the U.S. prosecutors) was aimed at independence through force. Other, similar cases involving Puerto Rican nationalists followed.

More recently, in 2010, nine members of a militia group called “the Hutaree” spanning Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana were charged with seditious conspiracy on suspicion of planning an armed conflict against federal, state, and local law enforcement. They were acquitted by a judge in 2012, however, due to insufficient evidence.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. I find it interesting that any discussion advocating the use of the 2nd amendment as intended by the Constitution can be considered sedition.
    Let that sink in.
    Just talking with others about exercising an extremely important constitutional right written to defend against tyranny is considered highly illegal.
    When the first amendment no longer applies to speech against the government, it is time to use the second amendment for its original purpose.

    • The organized militia must report to the governor of their state, not surround the capital and threaten to kidnap the governor. That is insurrection.
      Voting is what you must use if you don’t like a governor.
      The right to bear arms, is not a commentary on recommended use. They were never intended to be used to settle political arguments, that is for debate and voting.
      The greatest threat to the second , is talk like this.

  2. Both parties reached a stage long ago, of doing whatever they thought they could get away with in order to win the Presidency. There is a consensus of opinion that Republicans have “won” the office through the courts on more than one occasion.
    And a consensus that Democrats are masters of manipulating the ballot box; after all they do easily have a much larger potential base than Republicans.

    • If people only voted from an informed position according to issues that directly affect them, we would never have a republican majority in house or senate.
      Religion and corporate PR firms own the republican party. And now a carnival barker runs it.

  3. So you’re still going to pretend that this election wasn’t rigged & stolen for Beijing Biden? Really you’re still talking about removing mail-boxes? after this? after the biggest multi-level election fraud in the history of the country. after seeing USPS contractors truck completed fraudulent ballots from Bethpage, LI to Harrisburg, Pa. after watching poll workers told to go home b/c of a non-existent water main break so they can pull out tons of all-Biden ballots from under the table in Ga…so you’re still going to pretend that mass mailing tens of millions of blank ballots ( illegal 14 mos ago) wasn’t designed for ballot farming & cheating..”oooh, Rudy’s witness has potty mouth”..compare that to Eric Coomer of Dominion zoom chatting w/antifa & guaranteeing a Burisma Biden victory..This election was rigged 9 ways to Sunday..VT is Deep in the Swamp with Soros & Romney types…Your TDS has become terminal…given the fraud of virtually anonymous “mail-in” ballots the military should’ve seized every damn post office in the country..mail boxes, indeed..Why R you lying for a guy who voted to send us into Iraq. vs. a guy who’s bringing our troops home?

    • Dude, veterans are not big Trump fans. He has done more for Israel than US and is a horrible CIC and even worse president.
      The con, is 1 – 56 in court regarding this issue, so how many more courts do you need?

      If you are new to the voting process, inform yourself, and volunteer for a campaign or polling.
      And if you need training to discern a con man, visit carnivals and bus stations. Bring lots of cash.

    • Too bad every court in the USA so far says you’re wrong, and the Supremes who are meeting today will most likely agree with them. That makes this grand conspiracy you write about inclusive of both Republicans and Democrats in the swing states, and most all federal and state judges who simply aren’t buying this evidence-free BS that Trump has conned you Trumpsters into believing. When will you realize that you’re part of a personality cult that is faith-based and evidence free?

Comments are closed.