Findings, music, and occasional reflections by Paul Woodward

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Does Trump face legal jeopardy for his incendiary speech before the riot?

The New York Times reports:

Scrutiny increased on Monday on how President Trump sought to foment anger at a rally of his supporters and then dispatched them to the Capitol shortly before they rioted last week, as House Democrats on Monday unveiled an article of impeachment accusing him of inciting an insurrection.

Here is an overview of some of the broader forms of legal jeopardy the president may be facing.

What criminal laws might apply?

If a grand jury were to be persuaded that Mr. Trump intentionally incited his followers to violence, several statutes could come into play.

For example, Section 373 of Title 18 of the United States code makes it a felony to induce or even to try to persuade someone to engage in the criminal “use of physical force against property or against the person of another.”

The main federal statute against inciting a riot, Section 2101 of that same title, is complicated by requiring a tie to interstate travel or commerce. But the District of Columbia has a criminal law — Section 1322 of Title 22 of its code — that makes it a crime to incite a riot without any discussion of interstate issues. [Continue reading…]

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