Between Hillary Clinton’s cough and the constant stream of diarrhea forever dripping from the mouth of Donald Trump, the 2016 presidential election seems to out-crazy itself each and every day. Today is no different, with news coming straight out of Morton County, North Dakota: Jill Stein broke the law, and Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier intends on making the Green Party presidential candidate pay for her alleged crimes.
Earlier this afternoon the Morton County State’s Attorney’s office issued warrants for the arrest of both Jill Stein and her running mate, Ajamu Baraka, on criminal trespass and criminal mischief charges, according to a press release emailed to Gizmodo by the Attorney’s office. Kirchmeier originally planned to also charge Stein with vandalism for spray-painting a bulldozer at the Dakota Access Pipeline work site.
Earlier, the Bismarck Tribune reported that Dr. Stein was part of a 150-200 person demonstration at the site this weekend. The DAPL is a $3.8 billion project, intended to transport crude oil from Montana and North Dakota’s Bakken Formation to oil refineries in the Gulf Coast. Reuters reports Saturday’s protests were prompted by the pipeline company bulldozing “sacred tribal sites whose locations had been identified in court documents filed on Friday.” One activist said that security guards flanked the bulldozers and their guard dogs bit tribal elders and children. Two demonstrators did eventually manage to attach themselves to the bulldozers. Others, including Stein, graffitied the site, which you can see in the video below. The doctor writes, “I approve this message.”
The sheriff’s department claims, in a press release, that Baraka painted the word “decolonization” on one of the bulldozers. In a press conference yesterday, Kirchmeier said:
Dr. Jill Stein was seen at the construction site actually vandalizing, spray painting a blade on the equipment. These are things, everything you’ve been hearing on social media that this is, that this has been peaceful, that they want to do it by prayer; this is not the way to do this. This needs to come to an end.
Yesterday, Stein mused on Twitter, “State of ND may charge me with vandalism. Will they charge the oil company that razed sacred burial grounds?”
The weekend’s protests were somewhat successful. On Tuesday, U.S. Judge James Boasberg granted a portion of a temporary restraining order against the pipeline company, Dakota Access. The judge will rule on the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s bigger challenge to the DAPL this Friday. Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II is disappointed with the decision, which he says still “does not prevent Dakota Access Pipeline from destroying our sacred sites” while they wait for Friday’s ruling.
The crimes Stein and Baraka’s are charged with are class B misdemeanors, which according to the North Dakota criminal code, “are punishable by up to 30 days in jail and fines reaching $1,000.”
After the charges were filed, Stein tweeted a photo of her vandalizing the pipeline with the caption, “The Dakota Access Pipeline is vandalism on steroids.”