In a story titled Justice Dept.: Sedition charge may apply to protest violence the Associated Press (AP) says it has obtained a DOJ memo regarding the potential of applying federal "Seditious Conspiracy" statute: 18 U.S.C. § 2384. Has the AP, or any other organization, published the actual memo?

The story starts out saying:

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a memo to U.S. attorneys Thursday obtained by The Associated Press, the Justice Department emphasized that federal prosecutors should aggressively go after demonstrators who cause violence — and even sedition charges could potentially apply.

Has anyone been able to locate a verbatim copy of the DOJ memo cited?

If not, why would the AP not publish it?


AP doesn't appear to have published Thursday's memo, sent by deputy attorney general Jeffrey A. Rosen, verbatim, however it appears to be freely available to view and download on the DOJ's own website.

To quote the relevant part of the memo:

The Attorney General and I recently discussed with you the need to consider the use of a variety of federal charges when they may be appropriate, including "Seditious conspiracy" under 18 U.S.C. § 2384. I want to re-emphasize that message. As was previously pointed out, Section 2384 does not require proof of a plot to overthrow the U.S. Government, despite what the name might suggest. As the Attorney General noted in our discussion with you, it also applies to conspiracies with any of the following objects:

  • "to oppose by force the authority [of the Government of the United States]";
  • "by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States"; or
  • "by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof."
  • 1
    Nice find @CDJB. You are right; I miscited section 2385 rather than 2384 (I'll fix the question.) However, the final paragraph on page 1 of Rosen's memo you link to makes it clear this document was a response to press criticism of some earlier "leak", which seems odd. Sep 19 '20 at 23:38

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