AOC nails it. Trump is gone. His moronic enabler Ted Cruz stays clueless

The New York congresswoman put the inane Texas blowhard Ted Cruz in his place.

This is the guy who had the nerve to show up at the inaugural after spinning the lies which proceeded the failed January 6 Coup D’Etat. After the Coup was smashed he still voted to deny President Biden his election victory.

Daily Beast 1.21.2021

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote: “Nice tweet Sen. Cruz! Quick question: do you also believe the Geneva Convention was about the views of the citizens of Geneva?”

After months of vomiting up falsehoods about election fraud to please Donald Trump, it might have been a good idea for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to just quieten down for a little while. But, true to form, he’s bumbled into the Biden era with some fresh nonsense. In a clueless attack on President Joe Biden’s decision to re-enter the Paris Climate Agreement—the flagship international treaty to tackle the climate crisis—Cruz failed to wrap his head around why Biden backs a deal signed in France. Paraphrasing an old Trump line, he wrote: “By rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, President Biden indicates he’s more interested in the views of the citizens of Paris than in the jobs of the citizens of Pittsburgh.” His misunderstanding, whether it was wilful or not, has been treated with the derision it deserves.

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Texas Senator Ted Cruz

Intelligence Director plans crackdown on Trump inspired neo Nazi insurrectionists

Now that Trump is gone in disgrace serious attention will be given to the vicious mindless insurrectionists who led the aborted January 6, 2021 Coup D’Etat. For decades these Fascist Neo Nazi type groups have been permitted to grow and prosper.

Either out of ignorance or fear of conservative blowback the Feds have tended to look the other way.  The aborted Coup has finally shown what these dead ender nihilists true goal has been all along. Destroy Democracy.

Aided and abetted by Trump these deplorable people reached the point where they were able to mount a serious assault on the American government.

It is time to crush them all. The scores of arrests by the FBI since January 6 are a step in the right direction. The pursuit and smashing of these insurrectionists must continue aggressively by any means necessary.

Daily Beast 1.20.2021

President Joe Biden’s new Director of National Intelligence who now oversees 18 U.S. intelligence agencies anticipates producing a public assessment of the threat from QAnon, she testified at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday.

Avril Haines II 1.20.2021

Avril Haines, whom Biden tapped as the next director of national intelligence, told Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) that she would provide him with such an assessment, which Heinrich requested last month in a letter.

“I’ve seen that letter and absolutely, if confirmed, I would work with the FBI and DHS to get an answer to that question,” said Haines.
While Haines testified, Biden’s nominee to run the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, told a different Senate panel that he intends to use the secretary’s current powers against white supremacist terrorism. Mayorkas said he will look toward “empowering” DHS’ intelligence branch “in an apolitical, nonpartisan way” to “tackle the threat that domestic extremism is today.”

In one of the indications of how the Jan. 6 insurrection is shaping the context of Biden’s impending presidency, Haines seemed to reject putting the intelligence agencies in the lead on “an issue such as solely domestic terrorism.” She instead told the Senate intelligence committee that she wanted to provide “critical support” to the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, which will play that leading role. But she did not specify what such support would precisely be.

Instead, Haines indicated she views the intelligence agency’s work with regard to far-right terror—Haines used the phrase “white nationalism”—as a matter of identifying connections to foreign actors and disinformation. The coalescing of globalizing white nationalist and far-right violence is increasingly a focus of the incoming Biden team. Russ Travers, a former acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center who was recently tapped as Biden’s deputy homeland-security adviser at the White House, has written that the U.S. is increasingly an exporter of such violence and drew connections to the 2019 mosque murders in Christchurch, New Zealand.

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But an intelligence focus on QAnon will inevitably stoke controversy. Even after the FBI warned in 2019 that QAnon posed a domestic-terror threat, at least two QAnon boosters, Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Lauren Boebert (R-CO), have been elected to Congress. Efforts a decade ago to study far-right terror resulted in the Obama administration ending a DHS analytic entity that did so following a conservative outcry.

Speaking to the veteran presence at the Capitol insurrection, Biden’s nominee for secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin, pledged on Tuesday to “rid our ranks of racists and extremists” at his own confirmation hearing.

Notably, Haines did not during testimony request any additional authorities for the intelligence agencies with regard to right-wing extremism, an effort that has some support from liberals.



VP Kamala Harris, Lady Gaga and Amanda Gorman make history new era in Washington is best exemplified by three women.  Oakland born Kamala Harris is the first woman to be sworn in as Vice President.

Lady Gaga whose musical fame is known worldwide gave a stirring rendition of the Star Spangled Banner to those assembled at the Capitol and a worldwide audience.

Amanda Gorman, 22, is the first Youth Poet Laureate in American history. Her presentation at the inaugural was stunning.

Following are three clips.

Kamala Harris being sworn in as Vice President

Excerpted from Billboard Magzine 1.20.2021

Former senator and two-term vice president Joe Biden stepped into history on Wednesday (Jan. 20) alongside his historic Vice President Sen. Kamala Harris as they were inaugurated on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. And while some of the usual pomp and circumstance — not to mention the typically huge crowds — were curtailed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and security concerns in the age of the violent assault on the Capitol by supporters of former president Donald Trump on Jan. 6, Lady Gaga was on hand to ensure that the event felt like a proper celebration.

The singer took center stage just before noon to sing The National Anthem in a striking, billowing floor-length red skirt and long-sleeved black top accented with an oversized gold peace dove brooch and black leather gloves, accompanied by the President’s United States Marine Band. After greeting Biden and Harris, Gaga composed herself, grabbed a gold-colored microphone and belted out a powerful rendition of the notoriously difficult “Star-Spangled Banner” with her typical theatrical panache, ending with her hand over her heart and nods to Biden, Harris and former President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama on her way back to hear seat.

The stirring performance came one day after Gaga sent her Little Monsters a message of hope to usher in the new administration. “I pray tomorrow will be a day of peace for all Americans,” Gaga tweeted. “A day for love, not hatred. A day for acceptance not fear. A day for dreaming of our future joy as a country. A dream that is non-violent, a dream that provides safety for our souls. Love, from the Capitol.”


New York Times 1.20.2021

When Amanda Gorman was writing her inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb,” she faced a challenge unlike any of her predecessors.

Gorman set out to craft a poem that was both hopeful and realistic, one that reflected the political divisions that have fractured the country, but also the promise of greater unity. She finished writing the poem just after rioters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.

“I’m not going to in any way gloss over what we’ve seen over the past few weeks and, dare I say, the past few years. But what I really aspire to do in the poem is to be able to use my words to envision a way in which our country can still come together and can still heal,” she said in an interview with The New York Times. “It’s doing that in a way that is not erasing or neglecting the harsh truths I think America needs to reconcile with.”

At 22, Gorman, who lives in Los Angeles, is the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history. She was brought to the Inaugural Committee’s attention by first lady Jill Biden, who saw her recite a poem at the Library of Congress, and was struck by her performance and her bold yellow dress (Gorman wore a bright yellow blazer at the inauguration).



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Amanda Gorman – Youth Poet Laureate Delivers at Presidential Inaugural


Amazing. McConnell Says Trump Provoked Mob That Attacked Capitol

Breaking News 4.15.2019

I am shocked. You never know who is going to step up and do the right thing.

Wall Street Journal 1.19.2021

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said that President Trump provoked the mob that attacked the Capitol earlier this month.

“The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like,” Mr. McConnell said on the Senate floor Tuesday.

Mr. McConnell has said he is considering whether he would vote to convict Mr. Trump during his second impeachment trial, which will take place after Mr. Trump leaves office. The House passed an article of impeachment against Mr. Trump last week, focused on his statements encouraging his supporters to march on the Capitol.

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Smart response to mass joblessness. Guaranteed income. $2,000 Every Month

On this the 92nd anniversary of Martin Luther King’s birth it is well to remember  he was more than a civil rights leader. Dr. King had sound ideas about the distribution of wealth in America.

Wall Street has done very well during four years of Trump while the rest of the country has grappled to keep afloat. 

America is in the depths of a Pandemic and an economic crisis. The economic, physical and psychological health of the country is at risk. Four years of Trump and his Give it to the Rich and culminating with a Pandemic during which he has been missing in action.

Finally, Trump’s is a failed administration which will forever live with the stain of an aborted Coup D’Etat.  In short, Trump has been a disaster from Day One.

Radical action by President Biden is required beginning on January 20.

Excerpted from The Nation 1.18.2021 – John Nichols

Dr. King taught us that direct cash payments are a smart response to poverty and mass unemployment. In this crisis, we need to heed that call.

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The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s posthumous message to America came in a Look magazine article published shortly after the civil rights leader’s assassination, on April 4, 1968. In it, King wrote, “We need an economic bill of rights. This would guarantee a job to all people who want to work and are able to work. It would also guarantee an income for all who are not able to work. Some people are too young, some are too old, some are physically disabled, and yet in order to live, they need income.”

King was not the first to propose an economic bill of rights—President Franklin Roosevelt had done so almost a quarter-century earlier in his 1944 State of the Union Address.

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Nor was he the first to speak of the role guaranteed basic income might play in addressing poverty, inequality, and mass unemployment. But the pastor’s merging of these proposals as part of a call to “end poverty, to extirpate prejudice, to free a tormented conscience, to make a tomorrow of justice, fair play and creativity” was a vital contribution to the national debate, as was his recognition that the United States of more than 50 years ago had an “opportunity to avoid a national disaster and create a new spirit of class and racial harmony.”

Unfortunately, it did not happen. Political leaders of the late 1960s and early 1970s, from Richard Nixon to George McGovern, explored the prospect of using direct cash payments and guaranteed income initiatives to alleviate economic pain and address the often devastating consequences of social and technological change.

President-elect Biden has recognized that insufficiency and responded with a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan that includes a proposal for a workaround that gets the payment figure up to $2,000 —by adding an additional $1,400 to the already agreed-upon $600 figure.

Biden’s American Rescue Plan is reasonably ambitious. In addition to providing needed funding for health care and building a robust vaccination program, it promises extended unemployment benefits, rent relief, food assistance, aid to small businesses, support for schools and state and local government, and a federal minimum wage increase to $15 an hour. At the heart of the plan is an understanding on the part of the president-elect that “$600 is simply not enough when you have to choose between paying rent or putting food on the table. We need $2,000 stimulus checks.”

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Nor, however, should there be any question that more $2,000 checks will be needed in the months to come—as the pandemic continues, unemployment remains high, millions go hungry, and families are losing their homes.

Bernie Sanders, the incoming chair of the Senate Budget Committee, calls Biden’s proposal “a very strong first installment of an emergency relief plan that will begin to provide desperately needed assistance to tens of millions of working families facing economic hardship during the pandemic.” But additional installments will be required.

That’s why Representative Ro Khanna of California, is right when he says, “Let’s not just give ordinary Americans a one-time $2,000 check. With our new majority and a worsening crisis, let’s meet the need: $2,000/month, every month, until this crisis is over.”

Top photo – Dr. King speaks at March on Washington – August 28, 1963

“America…is a very hypocritical nation.” Sam Pollard, Director MLK/FBI

“I grew up thinking America is a beacon of light.  Not realizing it is a very hypocritcal nation,” Sam Pollard Director MLK/FBI

On the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s 92nd birthday a documentary recounting the vicious political and personal assault by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI has been released.

In painstaking detail the film shows the extreme measures the FBI used in its attempt to discredit Dr. King.  The documentary provides an easy to understand look at how and why Federal law enforcement attacked the leader of the American Civil Rights movement.MLK V 1.18.2021

Dr. King speaks at March on Washington – August 28, 1963.

The FBI assault on Dr. King reached its conclusion when he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968.

Following are two links.

First –  Christine Amanpour’s interview with the Director.

Second –  Trailer for the film MLK/FBI which is now available on streaming services.

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Top photo – Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King and Ralph Abernathy in Memphis shortly before Dr. King’s assassination.


Keystone XL Pipeline. Aides to Biden say he plans to promptly revoke the permit

I pay attention to the Wall Street Journal. 

It gives me an intelligent perspective on “conservative” thought.  In juxtaposition to Fox News, et al. The past year WSJ forecast what Biden would do as President very accurately.  Now he is President. I am looking forward to implementation of the policies decried by the WSJ.

This week begins a new day in Washington on so many fronts. One of which is the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. President Biden claims he is going to REVOKE the permit as one of his first actions as Chief Executive.

Excerpted from Wall Street Journal 1.21.2021

WASHINGTON—The Keystone oil pipeline’s developer plans to announce a series of overhauls—including a pledge to use only renewable energy—in a bid to win President-elect Joe Biden’s support for the controversial project.

 Aides to Mr. Biden have previously said he plans to revoke the permit, and Canada’s CBC News reported late Sunday that Mr. Biden plans to do so in one of his first actions after taking office this week.

Mr. Biden’s team declined to discuss that report, but has said his position on the pipeline hasn’t changed.

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In a bid to save the project, Canada’s TC Energy Corp. TRP 0.29% is committing to spend $1.7 billion on solar, wind and battery power to operate the partially completed 2,000-mile pipeline system between Alberta, in western Canada, and Texas, company officials say. They also are pledging to hire a union workforce and eliminate all greenhouse-gas emissions from operations by 2030.

 Keystone XL is a 1,210-mile expansion to a larger pipeline network. It must connect to the power grid to run pump stations that help push oil through the line. Those stations sit about every 50 miles along the pipelines, driven by electric motors.

The company’s plans reflect new realities at a time when Democrats are taking commanding positions in Washington, and in an era of growing environmental and social concerns.

“In our view, this is the most sustainable and environmentally friendly pipeline project that is ever been built,” Richard Prior, president of TC Energy’s Keystone XL expansion project, said in an interview. “This is groundbreaking stuff for an energy infrastructure project of the size and scale of Keystone XL.”

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A company spokesman said Keystone will announce the new measures this week.

Construction of the expansion, long delayed by legal and permitting challenges, started last year under a permit President Trump awarded to sidestep an order by a federal judge blocking construction in the U.S., pending a supplemental environmental review.

Keystone executives hope to keep the $8 billion project alive by making it a showcase for how fossil-fuel projects can still be environmentally friendly and generate good-paying union jobs.

In August, the company struck a deal with four labor unions to build the line itself. And it followed that up in mid-November with a deal for five indigenous tribes to take a roughly $785 million ownership stake. A new labor deal led by North America’s Building Trades Unions gives priority to union workers for the renewable power buildout, too.

Canadian government officials continue to press the case for Keystone with Mr. Biden’s team. They want to get more bottlenecked Canadian crude to the U.S. Gulf Coast, one of the world’s biggest centers for refining oil. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned the pipeline among his top priorities during his first call with Mr. Biden after the election.

Keystone’s initial proposal became a flashpoint for climate activists. It led many to fight pipelines as a way to combat growing oil production and instead push investment to alternative energy projects that wouldn’t contribute to climate change.

They especially object to the Keystone pipeline because the Canadian crude it carries comes from oil sands, which generate more pollution than other types of oil.


Keystone I 10.31.2019.jpgTo address those concerns, Keystone is promising to fund new renewable energy infrastructure to generate 1.6 gigawatts of power. That amount would rival the country’s biggest corporate renewables purchases by companies such as Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google that have become common in recent years, and further boost a burgeoning wind and solar market.

San Francisco Archdiocese shreds concept of Church and State separation

Following is a special contribution by associate Blog mistress Liz.

Dear Archbishop Cordileone, Publisher:

It is alarming that the Catholic Church, which sanctifies life, racial inclusiveness, integrity, compassion, accepts money in the form of political ads from the San Francisco Police Officers Association (POA).

The POA is a group which advocates for SFPD with its long history of abusing and harassing people of color, the homeless, the poor, and the disabled.

I was appalled when I saw the POA ad in the 12.17.2020 issue of Catholic San Francisco. 

Catholic San Francisco has a prominent influence in shaping cultural attitudes and moral values.

In 2019 the POA spent nearly 1 MM to destroy the candidacy of District Attorney aspirant Chesa Boudin. 

Chesa was victorious in the DA election.

Since Chesa took office a year ago, the POA has never let up on its line of attack on Chesa’s integrity, reforms to our broken criminal justice system, or reforms to the brotherhood of cops who cover up police misconduct deeds.

It is scandalous that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese allows money from the POA to help the POA retain power and position within the faith community, 


Liz Heidhues – a Catholic advocating for criminal justice reform


Page one. The Catholic 12.17.2020 edition

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POA Ad in The Catholic 12.17.2020


POA Attack ad – page one 2019


POA attack ad – page two 2019

Performance of a lifetime. ‘The Rhythm Section’ and the Futility of Revenge

San Francisco Chronicle critic Mick LaSalle calls Blake Lively’s work the “performance of a lifetime.”

The Rhythm Section is all about one woman’s revenge. It had a too brief appearance in the theaters in early 2020.

Just today it was released on Amazon Prime. If you are totally in a mental fog reading and watching news about the foiled Coup D’Etat of January 6 and the ceaseless pandemic here is some solid escapist entertainment.

Blake Lively makes the movie. The scene when she strips almost bare and walks into near a freezing Scottish lake made me shiver just watching her take a swim. That is one of the more subdued moments in this violent, gritty film.

The film is based on the 1999 novel of the same name by Mark Burnell.

San Francisco Chronicle 1.29.2020 – Mick LaSalle

Blake Lively is beyond good in “The Rhythm Section.” She is flat-out great. And what a surprise. She’s never been this good before.

“The Rhythm Section” — the title refers to coordinating one’s heart rate and breathing while shooting a gun — has an exceptionally smart script by Mark Burnell, who adapted his own novel. This is not the story of a woman who transforms into a killing machine. This remains the story of a fragile amateur, her life in ruins, who is in way over her head. Nothing goes the way it’s supposed to.


There is a lesson in this, one that audiences always forget and that critics should never forget, but we do: Actors are only as good as the chances they get. If someone seems like a lightweight, it might be because they’re stuck in lightweight roles. If Blake Lively has never seemed much more than a pleasant smile, maybe that’s because every other director has hired her only for that.

Now here comes this female director, Reed Morano, to tell us that whoever we thought Blake Lively is onscreen — she’s not what we thought. She is something else. She’s somebody you cast as the star in a film about psychic torment. She’s somebody you can make into an action hero. She’s somebody you could put in close-up for almost two hours, as though she were some powerhouse French or Italian actress, and not for one flicker of an eyelash will she give you even a millisecond that isn’t absolutely true.

In this film Lively has the gravity, the aura and even the look of Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, one of the best actresses in Europe. Lively is tough, vulnerable, cracking up, coming apart and fighting back, and she’s communicating thought and being every moment onscreen.

In an early scene, we see a woman, with tears in her eyes, watching a video of a happy family. Lively is in the family scene, but it takes a full minute to realize that she is also playing the woman watching the video, that she is looking at her past. Such is the change that she accomplishes.

We find out that her family — mother, father, sister and brother — was killed in a plane crash, and that she, Stephanie, has become a heroin addict and a prostitute. We further discover that the plane crash was the result of a terrorist act, but that the terrorists got away with it. Well, our Stephanie has nothing to lose. She doesn’t care if she lives or dies. She hooks up with a former MI6 agent (Jude Law) and volunteers to kill them all.

The Rhythm Section II 2.2.2020

Along those lines, Morano gives us something here that we almost never see — a genuinely suspenseful chase scene: Stephanie is in a foreign country and people are shooting at her, so she tears off in a stolen car, only to find that she’s driving against traffic. And the car that’s chasing her is only about 10 feet behind. It’s the ultimate no-frills chase scene, but filmed with consummate skill, most of it from the perspective of the terrified driver. The resolution of the chase is equally simple and perfect.

Lively gets good support from her makeup team — she looks horribly unwell at the start of the film, with the complexion of a substance abuser, and only gradually begins to look reasonably healthy. She communicates her physical state through her labored movement, but the bad (and slowly improving) skin helps. Likewise, Lively benefits from having Law and Sterling K. Brown to play off of, not to mention Max Casella, who makes a vivid one-scene appearance.

But it’s Lively’s movie, and it’s she who kicks this superior thriller up an extra notch, to the point that it’s not only worth seeing for the excitement and thrills, but for her.

I would like to believe this is the beginning of something, a great epoch in Lively’s career. But even if it’s not, even if this is the career highlight, Lively has accomplished a performance onscreen that she can point to in 30 years and say, “Yeah, but I did that.” Because she sure did.

“The Rhythm Section”: Thriller. Starring Blake Lively, Jude Law and Sterling K. Brown. Directed by Reed Morano.  (R. 109 minutes.)


Hard time: Feds to use Sedition statute to bring down January 6 insurrectionists

The Federal government is coming down hard on the mob of Neo Nazi style insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on January 6. 

Egged on by Trump these thugs probably thought there would be no ramifications.

The only way to bring a halt to the insurrection is to smash it by all means available to the government.

Excerpted from the Wall Street Journal 1.14.2021

Use of the Civil War-era law would signal the government’s intent to treat the siege as an assault on national security

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Over almost 160 years, U.S. sedition laws have been used sparingly, including against a Christian militia group, Puerto Rican militants and Islamic jihadists who conspired to blow up New York landmarks.

Now, federal prosecutors say they plan to bring seditious conspiracy charges in their rapidly developing probe into the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol last week. The charge is a powerful tool for prosecutors, signaling their intent to treat last week’s siege as a grave assault on national security.

Federal prosecutors have filed charges against at least two dozen members of the mob—including the son of a Brooklyn judge and a military veteran who brought plastic zip-tie restraints with him to the Capitol—on charges ranging from gun crimes to assault and theft. A team of senior national-security and public-corruption prosecutors is handling the most serious offenders, federal officials said.

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“Their only marching orders from me are to build sedition and conspiracy charges related to the most heinous acts that occurred in the Capitol,” Michael Sherwin, the acting U.S. attorney in Washington, said Tuesday.

The sedition law dates to the early days of the Civil War when President Lincoln and Congress sought to deter and punish armed resistance to the Union. Sedition generally means encouraging or supporting rebellion against a government.

The law specifically makes it a crime to conspire to “overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or prevent the execution” of any U.S. law. Another provision makes it unlawful “to seize, take or possess any property of the United States” by force without authorization.

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In the case of last week’s riot, the seized property could be the Capitol itself, which rioters temporarily occupied after storming past security, according to Steven Morrison, a criminal law professor at the University of North Dakota who has written on sedition.

“It’s absolutely a legitimate charge when it comes to what happened at the Capitol,” said Prof. Morrison. “It was a major assault on democracy itself, so the nature of the charge has to reflect that.”

Prosecutors made little use of it until the 1950s, when they wielded the law against a group of militant Puerto Rican nationalists accused of backing the attempted assassination of President Truman and planning the 1954 mass shooting inside the House chamber that wounded several lawmakers.

Punishable by up to 20 years in prison, the crime of conspiring to commit sedition—under Section 2384 of the federal criminal code—is a less serious offense than treason and generally easier to prove.