By MICHAEL BALSAMO, ALANNA DURKIN RICHER and COLLEEN LONG Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has sent a memo to U.S. attorneys emphasizing that federal prosecutors should aggressively go after demonstrators who cause violence — and even sedition charges could potentially apply. The memo says the sedition statute doesn’t require proof of a plot to overthrow the government. Instead, it could be used when a defendant tries to oppose the government’s authority by force. The memo was sent Thursday and was obtained by The Associated Press. Attorney General William Barr has been pushing U.S. attorneys to bring federal charges in protest-related violence whenever they can. Federal convictions often result in longer prison sentences, and sedition alone can lead to up to 20 years behind bars.