DOJ will prosecute crimes committed at Texas Capitol on Inauguration Day
By Kristen Meriwether, Editor LPR
The four U.S. Attorneys representing Texas have a message for those looking to incite violence on Inauguration Day: Don’t Mess With Texas.
On Jan. 13 the Department of Justice announced their intent to prosecute any crimes committed at the State Capitol or elsewhere in violation of federal law.
“During this time of polarized political discord, freedom of speech is an important right that must be safeguarded, but those who threaten to harm others, commit acts of violence, destroy property or attack law enforcement must be held accountable for their criminal behavior,” U.S. Attorney Gregg N. Sofer said in a release. “Now, more than ever, we must respect the rule of law. The Texas United States Attorneys’ Offices along with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners will pursue federal charges against those who refuse to do so.”
They also warned that anyone planning to cross state lines to commit crimes anywhere in Texas will be pursued. Anyone arrested for committing federal crimes related to protests or similar events surrounding Inauguration Day will be processed and held in federal custody.
The Texas Department of Public Safety ordered the Texas State Capitol Grounds closed to the public from Jan. 16- Jan. 20.
“The Texas Department of Public Safety is aware of armed protests planned at the Texas State Capitol this week and violent extremists who may seek to exploit constitutionally protected events to conduct criminal acts,” DPS Director Steven McCraw said in a release. “As a result, DPS has deployed additional personnel and resources to the Capitol and are working closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Austin Police Department to monitor events and enforce the rule of law.”