An historical note to Sen. Steve Daines, Gov. Greg Gianforte, Rep. Matt Rosendale and Former Attorney General Tim Fox: In 1918 and 1919, 79 Montanans were sentenced to prison for seditious acts. These individuals were ordinary citizens who spoke their minds and were imprisoned for their words. They were never actors or accomplices in incitement or insurrection. Their actions were far less egregious than the words and actions taken by our Montana elected officials in attempting to meddle in the elections of other states and thwart the certification of the 2020 election in the U.S. Congress.
In 1969, the Supreme Court held that the government cannot punish inflammatory speech unless that speech is “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite such actions” [Brandenburg v Ohio].
Daines, Gianforte, Rosendale and Fox, by signing onto or supporting various factually deficient lawsuits and other actions taken in Congress and elsewhere, have wittingly or unwittingly fueled the inflammatory speech leading to the lawless insurrection of January 6, 2020. The riotous acts at our U.S. Capitol have been shown to be a direct result of speech and actions of supporters of Donald Trump (elected and otherwise).
Complicity in election interference is a serious offense. Words and actions have consequences. How are our elected representatives going to be held accountable?
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