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Can feds prosecute California men accused of inciting riots at deadly Charlottesville rally?

White nationalists, neo-Nazis, KKK and members of the
White nationalists, neo-Nazis, KKK and members of the "alt-right" demonstrated during last year's "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Va.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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Four California men described as "serial rioters" are facing federal charges after prosecutors say they flew across the country for a white nationalist rally in Virginia last year and violently attacked counter protesters.

Federal agents arrested the men Tuesday. Prosecutors identified them as members of the Rise Above Movement, a militant white supremacist group they said espouses anti-Semitic and other racist views and meets regularly to train in boxing and other fighting techniques. U.S. Attorney Thomas Cullen says each defendant faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on the two counts they each face: traveling to incite riots and conspiracy to riot. We look into what the chances are of criminal prosecution.

With files from the Associated Press


Laurie L. Levenson, former federal prosecutor and a professor of law at Loyola Law School

Eugene Volokh, professor of law at UCLA; he tweets @VolokhC