The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maine says it could prosecute Mainers if any are charged as a result of the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

The office of U.S. Attorney Halsey B. Frank says it has the authority to prosecute anyone from Maine who engaged in interstate communications or travel for the purpose of rioting. The list of people who were arrested by the Capitol Police on Wednesday did not contain the names of anyone from Maine, but the U.S. Attorney’s Office said charges could be filed in the future.

“Our democratic republic is designed to resolve contentious disagreements in a peaceful and orderly  fashion,” Frank said in a statement issued Thursday. “It accommodates differences of opinion, political speechmaking and peaceful protest. It does not tolerate mob violence. Such violence is antithetical to our values and is a crime.

“If the District of Maine has jurisdiction over any of the criminal activity that took place at the U.S. Capitol yesterday, we will prosecute it.”

A Department of Justice memo issued in September said that although state and local authorities have the primary responsibility for taking action against rioting, federal law allows charges to be filed against people who engage in interstate communications or travel for the purpose of rioting, Craig M. Wolff, assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine, said in an email Thursday night.

“In general, there could be jurisdiction in the District of Maine if the travel or communication initiated in Maine,” Wolff said.


He wouldn’t comment on whether anyone from Maine traveled to Washington, D.C., and participated in the riot, saying Department of Justice policy prohibits him from confirming or denying the existence of any investigation.

During 2020, three Maine residents were arrested and charged with a variety of crimes stemming from protests that took place in the nation’s capital. Records provided by U.S. Capitol Police only list the charge and date of offense, offering few other details about which protest the individual took part in or the circumstances behind their arrest.

One well-known Mainer, Max Linn, did travel to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. The independent candidate for U.S. Senate who lost to Republican Susan Collins, Linn posted a photograph of himself on Facebook that shows him raising his fists and smiling broadly while a crowd of Trump supporters mills around him. It is not clear where the photograph was taken, but it was not at the Capitol building.

He is not wearing a mask in the photo, which was posted with a message that said, “I had a great time in Washington, D.C. today.”

Linn is promoting an anti-lockdown and anti-mask demonstration that is scheduled to take place Saturday in Augusta.

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