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Jan. 6 plea deals have helped Trump allies sow 'confusion' about attack, judge says

Rogue Valley

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2.17.22
The top federal judge on Thursday said the Justice Department’s handling of Jan. 6 prosecutions has contributed to “confusion” about the gravity of the Capitol attack — and emboldened those who wish to reduce it to a mere “protest” or “legitimate political discourse.” Chief Judge Beryl Howell of D.C.’s district court blasted the “legitimate political discourse” line — part of a Republican National Committee resolution condemning the Jan. 6 select committee investigation — during sentencing hearings for Brian Stenz and James Lollis, two of the more than 750 people charged for breaching the Capitol last year. Stenz and Lollis struck misdemeanor plea deals, similar to hundreds of others, that admitted to illegally “parading” and “picketing” inside the Capitol. But Howell worried that the Justice Department’s willingness to agree to plea deals for these “petty” crimes backed up bad-faith arguments that the attack on the Capitol was a “protest” rather than a dangerous threat to the transfer of power. Those so-called Class B misdemeanors carry a maximum of six months in jail. “That choice has helped confuse the issue,” Howell said in an exchange with Assistant U.S. Attorney James Pearce.

“I take it, from what you’re saying, is that the government does not acknowledge any responsibility in the confusion in some parts of the public about whether it was just a protest on Jan. 6,” Howell continued. In response, Justice Department attorneys emphasized that they consider much of the conduct on Jan. 6 to amount to domestic terrorism. “To the extent our charges may have created any confusion, I apologize,” Pearce said. “Whether it has, I don’t know.” Howell has, for months, criticized DOJ for what she calls an inconsistency between the department’s rhetoric about the Jan. 6 attack and the actual charges it has leveled against hundreds of defendants. She worried aloud that former President Donald Trump’s continued rhetoric about the 2020 election — aided by allies who minimize the attack on Jan. 6 — could inspire those who breached the Capitol a year ago to commit further criminal acts in his name.


What we have here is a Chief Federal Judge, a judge hearing 1/6 cases, telling the DoJ that its lackadasical 1/6 prosecutions have enabled the seriousness of the 1/6 insurrection to be hijacked as mere “legitimate political discourse”.

In short - What the DoJ is saying about 1/6 and how the DoJ is prosecuting 1/6 are two very different things. I strongly believe Judge Howell here is right. Merrick Garland has fumbled 1/6 terribly.
 

Gateman_Wen

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What we have here is a Chief Federal Judge, a judge hearing 1/6 cases, telling the DoJ that its lackadasical 1/6 prosecutions have enabled the seriousness of the 1/6 insurrection to be hijacked as mere “legitimate political discourse”.

In short - What the DoJ is saying about 1/6 and how the DoJ is prosecuting 1/6 are two very different things. I strongly believe Judge Howell here is right. Merrick Garland has fumbled 1/6 terribly.
Garland is too concerned about the politics. It's time for him to step down and let someone else take over, or for Joe Biden to give him some clear instructions so he feels like his butt is covered.
 

Craig234

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The judge sounds right on. I am so sick of 'centrist' Democrats who let Republican wrongdoers off light. They did it with Reagan/Bush, they did it with Bush 43, and they're doing it with trump. It's been months since they referred Meadows for prosecution for ignoring a subpoena, for example, and DoJ hasn't said a word about it.
 

Helix

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It was an insurrection in support of a coup attempt.
 

Rawley

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What we have here is a Chief Federal Judge, a judge hearing 1/6 cases, telling the DoJ that its lackadasical 1/6 prosecutions have enabled the seriousness of the 1/6 insurrection to be hijacked as mere “legitimate political discourse”.

In short - What the DoJ is saying about 1/6 and how the DoJ is prosecuting 1/6 are two very different things. I strongly believe Judge Howell here is right. Merrick Garland has fumbled 1/6 terribly.
So how many years do you think Grandma should have received? 25? 30? Life? Give it number.

 
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