Department of Justice Is Investigating the Lead Prosecutor for the Capitol Riots and the Fix Is In

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Last Sunday, the Andrew Weissmann wannabe leading the investigation of the January 6 riot in the US Capitol (no, it was not an insurrection, if you have doubts, read Stop Calling It an ‘Insurrection’) appeared on the CBS “news” program 60 Minutes.

He made some news because he claimed that some of the rioters would be charged with sedition.

Scott Pelley: I’m not a lawyer, but the way I read the sedition statute, it says that, “Sedition occurs when anyone opposes by force the authority of the United States, or by force hinders or delays the execution of any law of the United States.” Seems like a very low bar, and I wonder why you’re not charging that now?

Michael Sherwin: Okay, so I don’t think it’s a low bar, Scott, but I will tell you this. I personally believe the evidence is trending towards that, and probably meets those elements.

Scott Pelley: Do you anticipate sedition charges against some of these suspects?

Michael Sherwin: I believe the facts do support those charges. And I think that, as we go forward, more facts will support that, Scott.

In internet vernacular, “he said the quiet part out loud” when he boasted that he had focused the power of the federal government on a small number of individuals who had become famous on social media to make an example of them…we can’t have the lower orders getting all uppity, can we?

Michael Sherwin: So the first people we went after, I’m gonna call the internet stars, right? The low-hanging fruit. The ‘zip-tie guy,’ the ‘rebel flag guy,’ the ‘Camp Auschwitz guy.’ We wanted to take out those individuals that essentially were thumbing their noses at the public for what they did.

He also fronted the far-left spank-fantasy that President Trump was potentially indictable for his non-role in the riot.

Scott Pelley: Has the role of former President Trump been part of your investigation?

Michael Sherwin: It’s unequivocal that Trump was the magnet that brought the people to D.C. on the 6th. Now the question is, is he criminally culpable for everything that happened during the siege, during the breach? What I could tell you is this, based upon, again, what we see in the public record. And what we see in public statements in court. We have plenty of people– we have soccer moms from Ohio that were arrested saying, “Well, I did this because my president said I had to take back our house.” That moves the needle towards that direction. Maybe the president is culpable for those actions. But also, you see in the public record too militia members saying, “You know what? We did this because Trump just talks a big game. He’s just all talk. We did what he wouldn’t do.”

What has happened so far does not bode well for the mass arrests and wild overcharging of misdemeanor trespassing offenses orchestrated by Sherwin. Even left-wing judges are balking at some of the charges being leveled at defendants, and the government has had to admit that it simply does not have the evidence to support its outlandish charges. For an example of how unethical but highly imaginative federal prosecutors turned a bunch of AARP eligible, and in one case physically disabled, Walter-Mitty types into the cast of Strike Back (come for the action, stay for the hot chicks) read If You Want to Understand Why 5000 National Guardsmen Are Still in DC, Read the Indictment of Oath Keepers Involved in the Capitol Riot.

Now, it seems, Herr Sherwin might be about to get a legal colonoscopy all his own.

Justice Department prosecutors have launched an internal review of the former interim U.S. attorney for the District, over comments he made recently on “60 Minutes” about the ongoing Capitol riot investigation ­— remarks a federal judge warned Tuesday may threaten the fair-trial rights of some of the accused rioters.

U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta called a surprise hearing Tuesday on six hours’ notice to discuss his concerns that comments by Michael R. Sherwin aired on Sunday and a separate article published Monday by the New York Times indicated the Justice Department was not following the court’s rules or the agency’s internal procedures to refrain from speaking about ongoing cases outside of court.

At Tuesday’s hearing, federal prosecutors admitted there did appear to be a problem.

“As far as we can determine at this point, those rules and procedures were not complied with in respect to that ‘60 Minutes’ interview,” and prosecutors have referred the matter to the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, an internal watchdog, said John Crabb, chief of the criminal division of the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C.

“I was surprised — and I’m being restrained in my use of terminology — to see Mr. Sherwin sitting for an interview about a pending case in an ongoing investigation,” the judge said as he started the hearing. He also said he found it “troubling” to see anonymous officials repeating the same type of statements in a New York Times story a day after the interview aired.

“No matter how much press attention this matter gets, it will be clear these defendants are entitled to a fair trial,” the judge said. “The government, quite frankly in my view, should know better.”

Ordinarily, my view would be that the OPR investigation is just eyewash. More likely than not, Sherwin would not sit for a 60 Minutes interview without clearance from the office of Attorney General Merrick Garland. The only possible reason 60 Minutes would want to talk to Sherwin is about the Capitol riot. If he were going to talk about the Capitol riot, he was cleared to talk about an ongoing and very high-profile mob of prosecutions. I’m still not sure that isn’t my view as it is hard to see how a career federal prosecutor went on 60 Minutes without covering his butt, but there are hints that Sherwin is about to get a close look at the underside of the bus.

Some senior Justice Department officials were caught by surprise when Sherwin repeated those statements on national television this past weekend, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the matter candidly.

I’d like to think that Sherwin would suffer some kind of repercussions for overtly attempting to deprive American citizens of the right to a fair trial just to angle for a bigger and better job in the Department of Justice. But the one thing we’ve learned over the past four years is that Justice takes care of its own. When you have a lawyer forge a document used to deceive a court so electronic surveillance could be carried out against a presidential candidate, his campaign, his transition team, and his administration get probation, you know that Sherwin is in no danger whatsoever of any punishment.