In his book On Treason: A Citizen’s Guide to the Law, Larson argued that Americans were unlikely an internal rebellion against the United States in modern times. Then the Capitol attack proved him wrong.
What’s distinctive about the Capitol riot, he said, was the use of force, which is necessary for something to count as “levying war” against the United States.
He compared the insurrection to the anti-tax Whiskey Rebellion in 1794, which was forcefully put down by George Washington, and resulted in multiple indictments for treason.
“If you asked a lawyer in 1790 if [6 January] was an act of treason or levying war against the United States, they would have almost certainly said yes,” Larson said.