The US district attorney’s office for Maine District says it can prosecute Mainers if charged with the uprising in the US Capitol on Wednesday.
US attorney Halsey B. Frank’s office has the authority to prosecute anyone from Maine who engages in interstate communications or travels for the purpose of civil unrest. The list of people arrested by Capitol Police on Wednesday did not include the names of people from Maine, but US prosecutors said charges may be brought in the future.
“Our democratic republic should resolve controversial differences in a peaceful and orderly manner,” said Frank in a statement published on Thursday. “It takes into account differences of opinion, political speeches and peaceful protest. It does not tolerate mob violence. Such violence is contrary to our values and is a crime.
“If Maine District is responsible for any of the criminal activities that took place at the US Capitol yesterday, we will prosecute it.”
A Justice Department memo released in September said that while state and local authorities are primarily responsible for cracking down on civil unrest, federal law provides for charges to be brought against anyone engaged in interstate communications or traveling for the purpose of civil unrest , Craig M. Wolff, US assistant attorney for Maine District, said in an email Thursday evening.
“In general, Maine District could have jurisdiction if travel or communications are initiated in Maine,” Wolff said.
He would not comment on whether anyone from Maine went to Washington DC and participated in the riot. The Justice Department’s policy forbids him to confirm or deny the existence of an investigation.
In 2020, three Maine residents were arrested and charged with various crimes resulting from protests in the capital. The records submitted by the US Capitol Police only list the charge and the date of the offense, and little further details about the protests the person participated in or the circumstances in which they were arrested.
A well-known Mainer, Max Linn, traveled to Washington, DC on Wednesday. Linn, the independent US Senate candidate who lost to Republican Susan Collins, posted a photo of himself on Facebook, raising his fists and smiling broadly as a crowd of Trump supporters revolve around him. It’s not clear where the photo was taken, but it wasn’t in the Capitol.
He’s not wearing a mask in the photo that reads, “I had a great time in Washington, DC today.”
Linn sponsors an anti-lockdown and anti-mask demonstration to be held in Augusta on Saturday.
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