If you went to Washington last week to riot, the federal government is after you.
U.S. Attorney Trent Shores said last week that he plans to prosecute anyone who travelled from his 11-county, Tulsa-based jurisdiction to take part in the insurrection at the Capitol building. Other U.S. attorneys around the nation have made similar pledges.
The rioting “was illegal and an affront to an American institution of democracy and rule of law,” Shores said in a written statement.
The attack on the Capitol by supporters on President Donald Trump was meant to prevent final certification of Electoral College votes by Congress, the final step in the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The rioting — incited by the rhetoric of Trump and some members of Congress — delayed the Electoral College process, but did not prevent it.
Five people died in the rioting, including a U.S. Capitol police officer.
The rioters shouldn’t be allowed to speak for the Republican Party, Oklahoma or any rational people we know. They are the violent lunatic fringe and deserve a full measure of federal justice, which they’re about to get.
Shores is Trump’s appointee as the chief federal prosecutor in the Tulsa area, but he’s doing the right thing in prosecuting those who would attack our Capitol and try to block our constitutional electoral process.
American democracy and American justice are stronger than a few weak-minded rioters. That was proven last week.
But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need adequate law enforcement protection. Anyone who participated in the invasion of the Capitol deserves to be arrested, prosecuted an incarcerated. Their actions were un-American, despicable and criminal.
They were also plain stupid, especially those who videotaped their crimes or took selfies and then posted the evidence on social media. If you’re going to commit a crime, don’t tell the world you’re doing it, unless you relish the idea of spending a lot of time in a penitentiary.
Although he is a political appointee, we aren’t surprised by Shores’ announcement. A federal crime was committed; his job is to enforce federal law, and he’s doing so without fear or favor. That’s in the nonpartisan tradition of American justice and, frankly, consistent with Shores’ tenure in office.
Anyone with relevant tips, photos or videos can contact the FBI at tips.fbi.gov or 1-800-CALL-FBI.