Could high ranking Republican officials be arrested and tried for their activities leading up to the government shutdown?
It's unlikely, but it actually is possible. Over on THE HILL:
A petition on the MoveOn.org website is calling for the Department of Justice to arrest some House Republican leaders for their roles in the government shutdown and debt-ceiling debates. The petition singles out Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House majority leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), as well as “other decision-making House Republican leaders,” for the crime of “seditious conspiracy against the United States of America.”
“The House GOP leadership's use of the Hastert Rule and H. Res 368 to shut down the government and threaten the U.S. economy with default is an attempt to extort the United States government into altering or abolishing the Affordable Care Act, and thus, is self-evidently a seditious conspiracy. Arrest the perpetrators in Congress immediately and bring them to justice,” the petition reads.
This move is much more symbolic than anything else, but so was the start of the tea party. And look what they have been able to accomplish.
If you were wondering what legally the accusation is,
If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or 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, they shall each be fined or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.
Highlighted above you'll find the salient elements the petitioners are focusing on.What Republican leadership did in trying to hold up the Affordable Care Act by conspiracy is quite an interesting consideration when you look at the actions of Boehner,Cantor and others.
The petition presently has more than 29,000 signatures with a goal of 30,000. If by some chance you wanted to sign this petition, the link is right HERE.