Trump's 'Crimes Flow Through' Oath Keepers' Sedition Indictment: Former Prosecutor

Former U.S. Army prosecutor Glenn Kirschner said that former President Donald Trump's "crimes flow through" the seditious conspiracy indictment against members of the far-right Oath Keepers group due to their involvement with the January 6, 2021 attack against the U.S. Capitol.

The indictment against the Oath Keepers' leader Stewart Rhodes, a former Army paratrooper and graduate of Yale Law School, as well 10 other members of the organization was unsealed this week. Rhodes was arrested on Thursday and made his first appearance before a judge in Texas on Friday. The 11 members of the far-right group were indicted for "seditious conspiracy," the first such charge against anyone involved with the violent assault against the Capitol last year.

In a video uploaded to Twitter on Saturday, Kirschner—who now works as a legal analyst for MSNBC—contended that the indictment connected the Oath Keepers' actions directly to Trump.

"Let's talk about how Donald Trump's conduct and crimes flow through all 48 pages of this criminal indictment," Kirschner said at the outset of the short video clip.

"Why did the defendants pick January 6 to attack the Capitol?" he asked, before reading a tweet posted by Trump ahead of that date. "'Big protest on D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild,'" the attorney said, reading an excerpt of the former president's post.

"And again, Trump tweeted: 'January 6th, see you in D.C.,'" Kirschner continued.

"Why did the defendants choose to name their communications channel 'Stop the Steal'?" he then asked, before reading another old Trump tweet. That post urged people to attend the "Stop the Steal" protest at 11 a.m. in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021.

Kirschner then asked why people proceeded from the rally to the Capitol that day. "This from Donald Trump's pre-Capitol attack speech," he responded to his question, reading excerpts from the former president's remarks at the Stop the Steal rally. During that speech, Trump told his supporters to walk down to the Capitol building and to "show strength" and "be strong."

"Why did the defendants engage in violence at the Capitol that day? Why did they fight like hell?" the former prosecutor asked. "Donald Trump's words, 'We fight like hell. And if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore.'"

"This entire indictment echoes the words, the conduct, the crimes of Donald Trump," Kirschner said, holding up the papers and concluding the video.

Previously, during a Friday segment on MSNBC, Kirschner made a similar assessment.

"For Donald Trump, I think the parallels are even more dramatic with respect to Donald Trump's statements and conduct, when we compare it to what we see in this indictment," the lawyer said. He argued that "Donald Trump runs through this 48-page indictment and I think that's an ominous sign of things to come."

Hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021 in an apparent effort to disrupt the formal certification of President Joe Biden's Electoral College victory by Congress. The rioters were largely animated by Trump's claims that the 2020 election was "stolen" from him. That allegation has been discredited, with no evidence emerging to substantiate it.

House Democrats, joined by 10 Republicans, voted to impeach Trump for inciting the violence a week after the attack occurred. Although Trump was acquitted about a month later by the Senate, the trial's conclusion marked the most bipartisan "guilty" vote against a president in U.S. history.

Donald Trump Stop the Steal rally
Former President Donald Trump's "crimes flow through" the indictment against the Oath Keepers unsealed this week relating to U.S. Capitol riot, according to former Army prosecutor Glenn Kirschner. Above, Trump speaks at the "Stop the Steal" rally on January 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Seven GOP senators voted with all 50 members of the chamber's Democratic Caucus to convict the former president. While that represented a majority of the legislative body, it fell short of the high constitutional threshold requiring a two-thirds majority (67 senators) for a successful conviction.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, voted against conviction, arguing that it would be unconstitutional to vote guilty as Trump was no longer president. However, he blamed the former president for the attack and suggested he could face prosecution through the nation's criminal justice system at a later time.

"We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former presidents are not immune from being held accountable by either one," McConnell asserted.

Newsweek reached out to Trump's press office for comment.