If you still had any question as to whether Attorney General Merrick Garland was using the Department of Justice to persecute his political enemies and place his political allies above the law, look no further.
The two lawyers were facing domestic terrorism charges and the possibility of 30 years in jail. This week, the Biden Administration agreed to a massive reduction of the charges in a plea agreement that will likely result only in a couple years of jail time.https://t.co/dLCKAWqzqv— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) June 5, 2022
…It is a sharp contrast to the harsh position taken by the Biden Justice Department on many of those accused of rioting on January 6th. AG Garland cited the threat to police officers in pledging an unprecedented effort to charge those involved “on any level” in the riot.— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) June 5, 2022
We previously discussed the cases of attorneys Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman, who were accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail into a police vehicle in New York. They were facing domestic terrorism charges and the possibility of 30 years in jail. This week, the Biden Administration agreed to a massive reduction of the charges in a plea agreement that will likely result only in a couple years of jail time. What is particularly bizarre is that the plea agreement reduces an earlier plea agreement for a more serious offense.
The plea deal by the Justice Department is a breathtaking reduction in the charges and expected sentencing of the two lawyers.
Earlier, some of us were surprised that U.S. District Judge Margo Brodie upheldthe $250,000 bail determination of U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven Gold. Prosecutors presented evidence that the two attorneys were trying to distribute Molotov cocktails and suggested that Mattis did not appear rational. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed Judge Brodie and the two attorneys were sent back to jail. (Rahman’s bail was paid for by friend and fellow attorney Salmah Rizvi, who served in the Defense Department and State Department during the Obama administration).
Notably, Rahman and Mattis pleaded guilty last year to one count of possessing and making an explosive device, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Now, however, they will be allowed to withdraw the earlier plea and instead plead guilty to conspiring to assemble the Molotov cocktail and damage the New York Police Department patrol car. That is a nosebleed of a drop in the severity and punishment for this violent attack.
It is a sharp contrast to the harsh position taken by the Biden Justice Department on many of those accused of rioting on January 6th. Attorney General Merrick Garland cited the threat to police officers in pledging an unprecedented effort to charge and convict those involved “on any level” in the riot.
Conspiring to assemble the Molotov cocktail and damage the New York Police Department patrol car does not quite capture what these two attorneys did during the violent riot in New York. Rahman was caught on video throwing the firebomb and then fleeing the scene. Colinford Mattis was accused of having a store of firebombs in his vehicle and was videotaped as he attempted to hand them out to other rioters to fuel further violence. Rahman later was unapologetic and declared to reporters that “the only way they hear us is through violence.”
That does not seem the type of the suspects who would ordinarily garner deep sympathy from prosecutors. Yet, the Biden Administration walked back the charges, unraveled the earlier plea to a lesser offense, and told that court that the earlier charges would have resulted in “excessive sentencing” for the attorneys. Instead, they are supporting a maximum sentence of five years with a recommendation of between 18 to 24 months imprisonment.
Garland indicted five Proud Boys on “seditious conspiracy” charges on Monday. A seditious conspiracy charge carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, the former longtime chairman of the extremist group Proud Boys, was indicted on a new federal charge of seditious conspiracy with four top lieutenants on Monday. The charges expand the Justice Department’s allegations of organized plotting to oppose through violence the certification of President Biden’s election victory, culminating in the attack on the Capitol by a mob on Jan. 6, 2021.
Tarrio, 38, was not in the District that day but allegedly guided activities from nearby Baltimore as Proud Boys members engaged in the earliest and most aggressive attacks to confront and overwhelm police at several critical points on restricted Capitol grounds. Another defendant, Dominic Pezzola of Rochester, N.Y., broke through the first window of the building at 2:13 p.m. with a stolen police riot shield, authorities said.
A 10-count superseding indictment returned Monday morning charges Tarrio, Pezzola and three other existing defendants — Ethan Nordean of Washington state, Joe Biggs of Florida and Zachary Rehl of Pennsylvania — with “opposing the lawful transfer of presidential power by force,” eventually mustering and coordinating the movements of as many as 300 people around the Capitol that day. The defendants are accused of fomenting and spearheading a riot that stormed the Capitol, eventually forcing the evacuation of Congress as it met to confirm the 2020 election results.
Federal prosecutors previously leveled the historically rare charge of seditious conspiracy for the first time in the Jan. 6 attack against Stewart Rhodes, the founder and leader of the extremist group Oath Keepers, and 10 associates. Since filing the charges in January, a year after the violence, two of the other defendants, Joshua James of Alabama and Brian Ulrich of Georgia, and one other Oath Keeper member, William Todd Wilson of North Carolina, have pleaded guilty to the charge and are cooperating with the Justice Department.
The Post left out that they were threatened with decades in prison to get them to break.
As a reminder, Jan 6 protester Matthew Perna committed suicide after pleading guilty to a host of charges due to fears he wouldn’t be given a fair trial. Other Jan 6 defendants reported they were tortured in jail, locked in solitary confinement and subject to vicious beatings and racial abuse at the hands of DC jail guards who told them they hated all white people.
In April, a Tarrio co-defendant, Charles Donohoe of North Carolina, pleaded guilty to two felony counts including obstructing an official proceeding of Congress. His plea provided insights into the plans and intention of the group to disrupt the electoral vote confirmation. Tarrio and the others pleaded not guilty to a previous indictment that charged them with offenses including conspiring to obstruct Congress or impede police in a civil disorder.
The new charges add two counts, seditious conspiracy, punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and conspiracy to prevent an officer from discharging any duties. A new hearing was set for Friday. Rehl attorney Carmen Hernandez called the action by prosecutors ahead of an August trial date exceedingly heavy-handed against her client, who she said committed no violence and at worst is allegedly to have associated with the Proud Boys as his right under the First Amendment.
“To bring such a serious charge against Mr. Rehl at this late date without alleging a single new fact against him is simply wrong and deserves a response,” Hernadez wrote in a filing. Tarrio attorney Nayib Hassan said his client “is looking forward to trial and his day in court.” Attorneys for Nordean declined to comment.
This is naked political persecution. It can’t get any more transparent.
Politico reported last year that Garland’s blatant double standards could jeopardize the regime’s case against Jan 6 defendants due to the equal protection clause. Let’s hope that’s the case.
We all saw in April how the feds’ charges against the Michigan defendants in the Gov. Whitmer “kidnapping plot” fell apart. These cases are likely going to be harder because as we saw last week with the Sussman trial, DC juries aren’t very interested in equal justice.
The GOP establishment should be screaming bloody murder about this vindictive political persecution but instead they’re busy working with Democrats on new gun control proposals to disarm their own constituents.
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