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Where is GOP Outrage Over Justice Department’s Capitol Probe?

The U.S. government now holds political prisoners in jail in the nation’s capital, and the party that purports to stand for freedom, liberty, and rule of law refuses to defend them.

By     March 25, 2021

A federal judge this week blasted a top Justice Department official for publicly bragging about the agency’s sprawling investigation into the January 6 Capitol melee. In an emergency hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta warned government prosecutors to keep quiet or face a gag order.

Mehta fumed over comments made in a television interview by former acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin—he led the first two months of the nationwide manhunt for suspected “insurrectionists”—that could imperil the already shaky case against ten alleged members of the Oath Keepers. The lawyers of the defendants facing several charges including conspiracy, attended the virtual hearing on Tuesday.

“The Justice Department needs to understand that these types of public statements can jeopardize the integrity of a criminal case and affect the rights of the defendants,” Mehta said. (Sherwin reportedly is under internal investigation himself for giving the “60 Minutes” interview last week.) “No matter how much press attention this matter gets, it will be clear these defendants are entitled to a fair trial. The government, quite frankly in my view, should know better.”

The Obama-appointed judge, with those few sentences, said more to defend the rights of Trump-supporting protesters than the totality of Republican leadership in Washington, D.C.. Top Biden officials are accelerating the weaponization of powerful federal agencies against regular Americans who dared, not just to vote for Donald Trump, but also to doubt the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election. The Justice Department’s Capitol breach probe, its official name, gives cover to inflict severe punishment for those verboten acts and beliefs.

The same cabal that wielded its authority against the former president and his associates for more than four years has aimed its arsenal at hundreds of Trump supporters—yet the GOP remains silent.

But where is the outrage from Republican lawmakers in Washington, D.C.? Due process has been tossed; the disparity between how January 6 defendants are treated versus the treatment of “peaceful protestors” last summer is on full display. (The same U.S. attorney’s office now prosecuting Capitol breach defendants dropped nearly all felony rioting charges after the George Floyd protests over the summer.)

Trump-supporting Americans, including a teenager, have been denied bail partially based on their beliefs that the 2020 presidential election was illegitimate. Dozens have been transported to D.C. jail to await trial in a hyper-partisan judicial system that views them with utter contempt. Veterans, gun owners, and homeschoolers are openly derided in court.

Nearly 130 Americans face a flimsy charge of “obstruction of an official proceeding” for attempting to delay Congress’ certification of the Electoral College—an act, by the way, attempted by members of Congress themselves in 2016—which seeks to criminalize political protest and sets a dangerous precedent. The obstruction charge, despite its vague legal definition, is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

The U.S. government now holds political prisoners in jail in the nation’s capital, and the party that purports to stand for freedom, liberty, and rule of law refuses to defend them.


Photo: (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)



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