Consider January 6, 2021
With respect to treason:
§2381 Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 807; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(2)(J), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2148.).
With respect to misprison* of treason:
§2382 Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States and having knowledge of the commission of any treason against them, conceals and does not, as soon as may be, disclose and make known the same to the President** or to some judge of the United States, or to the governor or to some judge or justice of a particular State, is guilty of misprision of treason and shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than seven years, or both.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 807; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(H), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.).
With respect to rebellion or insurrection:
§2383 Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 808; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.).
With respect to seditious conspiracy:
§2384 If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 808; July 24, 1956, ch. 678, § 1, 70 Stat. 623; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(N), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2148.).
WHAT HAS BEEN CHARGED
More than 600 rioters have been charged and cases added nearly daily. The charges have been, widely speaking, misdemeanors. Examples are, entering and remaining in a restricted building, destruction of government property, civil disorder, obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, and illegal possession of a firearm on Capitol grounds. There were a few charges of obstructing an official government proceeding. None have been charged with sedition, or more seriously, treason. Treason has a limited definition in the constitution Article III, Section 3: the term refers to the commission of overt acts to overthrow one’s own government or to consciously and intentionally aid an enemy of the nation. Here is the catch. “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. Legally speaking, we are not in a declared war [The last time the US declared war was in l941]. Clearly this should be amended to address today’s realities.
The bottom line is that we need a more aggressive Department of Justice. The charges so far are pathetic. No informed citizen questions that the intent of the insurrection was the overthrow of a legitimate election and essentially the resulting government. At least go for a rebellion or insurrection charge or seditious conspiracy. We cannot allow this behavior to be protected by freedom of speech law. Hopefully, the House Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection will find even more evidence of sedition.
* The deliberate concealment of one's knowledge of a treasonable act or a felony.
** Unbelievable lack of foresight.
Law references: www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2381, 2382, 2383, 2384