‘Don’t mess with Texas,’ U.S. Attorneys warn ahead of presidential inauguration

Their message? Justice will be sought

Capitol police prepare to make arrests as anti-Trump protesters gather on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 13, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (TASOS KATOPODIS, 2021 Getty Images)

Thinking about committing a federal crime, ahead of the upcoming presidential inauguration?

Don’t do it, warned the U.S. Attorneys representing the four districts in Texas.

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In a news release Wednesday, they announced their intent to prosecute any crimes committed at the State Capitol or elsewhere.

“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. “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.”

Sofer, along with his counterparts – U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick, Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah and U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Cox of the Southern, Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas, respectively – are warning people who live in Texas or plan to cross state lines to commit crimes here.

Their message? Justice will be sought.

The U.S. Attorneys plan to work with federal, state and local law enforcement throughout Texas to aggressively identify individuals who violate federal law.

These officials want to make sure “anyone arrested for committing federal crimes related to protests or similar events on or about Inauguration Day will be processed and held in federal custody pending further criminal proceedings.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C. is prosecuting the people who’ve been identified in the Capitol riots last week.

The U.S. Attorneys in Texas said they have been, and will continue, to work with Department of Justice officials and necessary law enforcement in those prosecutions.

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