Domestic Terrorism Law Being Weighed by Justice Department
Currently, the government cannot designate domestic extremists as terrorists
The Justice Department is "actively considering" whether to seek a new law that would let prosecutors bring specific charges for plotting and carrying out acts of domestic terrorism, a senior department official said.
"One of the things we’re looking at is would we need new authorities," said Brad Wiegmann, deputy assistant attorney general for the department’s national security division, during a House hearing Thursday.
Wiegmann said the department has been successful using existing laws to fight domestic terrorism, such as bringing charges for offenses involving violations of weapons or explosives laws, hate crimes and arson. He said more than 430 arrests have been made in connection with the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol. The attack was carried out by extremist supporters of then-President Donald Trump.
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