Bill Cushing, MD, JD, MBA
Can Adam Schiff, A California congressman and Chairman of the House intelligence Committee, be prosecuted for sedition?
In my opinion, the answer is yes.
Members of Congress are subject to the same laws as are all Citizens of the United States, with one exception. Article 1, Section 6 of the United States Constitution which states:
“They [Congress] shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.”
I have heard both Republican and Democrat Congressmen and women say on TV news shows, that Mr. Schiff has immunity from seditious statements because he is a Congressman. They are wrong.
A member of Congress only has immunity from statements made during their attendance at House sessions, in going to and returning from House sessions and for statements during House debates or speeches.
From 2017 to 2018 Mr. Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee investigated President Trump for what the Democrats said was Trump’s collusion with Russia during the 2016 Presidential campaign.
The objective of the investigation was to remove President Trump from office.
Mr. Schiff and his committee interviewed over 50 individuals to obtain evidence that President Trump had colluded with the Russians to get the Russians to interfere in the 2016 election.
Mr. Schiff would not allow any of the testimony from these individuals to be released to the public.
During the investigation Mr. Schiff would frequently appear on televised news shows and state that he had evidence that President Trump had colluded with the Russians during the 2016 campaign.
He was lying to the American public in order to attempt to force President Trump from office. He was making false seditious statements against the President in order to force an overthrow of the Trump administration.
Sedition is the crime of revolting, inciting revolt against the government or advocating the overthrow of the government.
Prosecutions for sedition are rare, but not unthinkable, because of the broad protection of free speech under the first amendment.
But there are limits to protections under the First Amendment.
Sedition remains a crime in the United States under 18 U.S.C. § 2384 (2000), a federal statute that punishes seditious conspiracy.
In my opinion Mr. Schiff’s action were seditious.