In the Biden administration’s latest prosecutorial expansion against its political opponents, the weaponized Department of Justice recently announced its plan to target “thousands” of nonviolent Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol protesters.
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) January 8, 2024
During a press conference by the DOJ, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew Graves said the department is focusing on criminally prosecuting those who entered the Capitol or allegedly mistreated law enforcement officers on Jan. 6, as lawmakers certified the 2020 presidential election for then-presidential candidate Joe Biden.
“An important note about those who remained outside the [Capitol] building,” Graves began. “We have used our prosecutorial discretion and to primarily focus on those who entered the building, on those who engaged in violent or rough conduct on Capitol grounds.”
Graves added that the DOJ will now turn over its prosecutorial efforts against those who did not enter the Capitol on Jan. 6 or commit “violent or rough acts.”
“If a person knowingly entered a restricted area without authorization, they had already committed a federal crime. Make no mistake, thousands of people [were] occupying the area that they were not authorized to be present in the first place,” the U.S. attorney continued.
Since Jan. 6, the DOJ has charged more than 1,200 individuals in connection to the Capitol protests, including misdemeanor offenses such as trespassing and felonies like seditious conspiracy.
To date, approximately 730 Jan. 6 protesters have pled guilty to charges, while nearly 200 others have been convicted in trials by a judge or a jury.
During his first campaign rally of 2024 in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, President Joe Biden focused his remarks on the Jan. 6 protesters, claiming that former president Donald Trump and his “MAGA supporters” are a “threat to democracy.” The president gloated over the DOJ’s large-scale prosecution of Trump supporters.
“Collectively to date, they have been sentenced to more than 840 years in prison,” the president said, adding, “And what has Trump done? Instead of calling them ‘criminals,’ he’s called these insurrectionists ‘patriots.’ … And he promised to pardon them if he returns to office.”
Trump rebuked Biden’s remarks during a campaign event in Clinton, Iowa, where he demanded that the president release the Jan. 6 protesters, which he referred to as “hostages.”
“The J6 hostages, I call them. Nobody has been treated ever in history so badly as those people nobody’s ever been treated in our country,” Trump said, pointing out that he would pardon many of the protesters if he’s elected president in 2024.