The following article, Judge Pushes for Prosecutors to Go Harder on Capitol Insurrection Defendants, was first published on Flag And Cross.
We are now really getting into the meat of it all, as a large number of would-be insurrectionists have found themselves being dragged before judges and into courtrooms.
The verdicts thus far have been mixed bags, with folks on both sides of the insurrection argument able to find something to complain about in the adjudications.
But now one judge is making her opinion known, and it’s not good for those facing the gavel.
Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell of the federal district court in Washington, D.C., wants prosecutors to be tougher on Capitol riot defendants, and has asked why some have not been charged with more serious crimes.
The behavior seemed a bit presumptuous.
Politico reported Monday that Howell, an appointee of Barack Obama, has suggested that rioters who were merely present in the Capitol should be charged with attempting to stop the certification of the Electoral College, despite the lack of evidence:
Beryl Howell, the chief judge of the federal court in Washington deluged with more than 550 prosecutions from the Capitol riot, raised questions about why some defendants were being permitted to resolve their criminal cases by pleading guilty to a misdemeanor and why the amount of money prosecutors are seeking to recover through those plea deals was based on a relatively paltry estimate of about $1.5 million in damages caused by the rioters.
Howell then grilled the prosecutor handling the case, Clayton O’Connor, about why prosecutors hadn’t insisted that [defendant Glenn] Croy admit as part of the plea that he was trying to block the electoral vote.
In response, O’Connor laid bare aspects of prosecutors’ decision-making that have rarely been discussed publicly: why some defendants who went into the Capitol but aren’t accused of violence against others or damaging property are facing a felony obstruction-of-Congress charge that can carry a maximum of 20 years in prison, while others who appear to have acted similarly that day have escaped with misdemeanors.
“Largely, because of the elements which go to the obstruction charge which many of Mr. Croy’s co-rioters have been charged with,” O’Connor explained. “In the review of the investigation, that fact was not revealed to a degree that the government could prove it beyond a reasonable doubt with regard to Mr. Troy [sic].”
The FBI has been poring over mountains of evidence in the case, much of which has been gleaned from the social media accounts of those who gladly bragged about their actions to their followers during the storming of the Capitol.
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