Charges are coming for a presidential candidate, and it has nothing to do with emails. Green Party candidate Jill Stein will face criminal trespass and criminal mischief misdemeanor charges for spray-painting construction equipment during a protest against an oil pipeline in North Dakota on Tuesday. She apparently tagged bulldozer with the words, “I approve this message.”
Authorities did not arrest her or any other of the approximately 200 protesters at the construction site. But Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier made it clear he was “working up the information through the state’s attorney’s office to pursue charges” against the Green Party candidate. Stein’s running mate, Ajamu Baraka, was also charged.
Some machinery was vandalized and two protesters tied themselves to construction equipment during Tuesday’s demonstration, according to officials. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe are the primary opponents of the four-state, $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline. The tribe is suing to stop the construction, which runs close to their reservation land and its water source, as well as some possible historic sites. A judge temporarily halted construction Tuesday on part of the project, and will reportedly rule by the end of the week on the tribe’s challenge.
Stein called her graffiti “an act of civil disobedience.”
But this won’t hurt her chances of being president or anything.