SANDRA SMITH (CO-ANCHOR): Dan, before you go, I want to ask you about The Wall Street Journal's reporting on sedition charges, and what they are reporting, Bill Barr is telling prosecutors “to consider charging violent protestors with sedition.”
Wall Street Journal dug into that, and, and writes this, “To bring a sedition case, prosecutors would have to prove there was a conspiracy to attack government agents or officials … there is a fine line between the expression of anti-government sentiment, which could be protected speech under the First Amendment even if it included discussions of violence, and a plot that presented an imminent danger.” So where is Bill Barr going with such a suggestion, and can that happen?
DAN HENNINGER (DEPUTY EDITOR, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL PAGE): Sandra, I think he's going in two directions. One, he is adding sedition to arson, gun violations, to the list of federal crimes that he wants prosecutors — federal prosecutors to bring, in the absence of these progressive prosecutors I described doing anything about the criminal behavior in these cities.
Secondly, though, I think Bill Barr is pointing to what could happen after the election. We have had articles appearing recently in the mainstream media suggesting that if Donald Trump wins, Democrats may not be able to control themselves. We know there's going to be a problem with the mail-in ballots.
If you see a situation, if the president wins and there are demonstrations in the streets, riots claiming that this is an illegitimate government, I think Bill Barr is suggesting that he would prosecute these people under the sedition laws. He is trying indeed to set down a marker, and let them know it will not be a free lunch if they intend to riot in the event Donald Trump gets reelected.