A tale of two systems of justice: Trump supporters remain behind bars while anarchist thugs released on no bail

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The following contains editorial content which is the opinion of the author. 

If ever there was a prime example of two systems of justice in the United States, justice based not on right and wrong but on political affiliation, this is it.

As “suspects” in the January 6 Capitol siege continue to rot in Washington, D.C.-area jails, some in their eleventh month of solitary confinement, a man who broke into Republican North Dakota Senator John Hoeven’s office with an axe last December has been let off with pretty much a hug and a thank you note.

Joe Biden’s Department of Justice has set out to make examples of the January 6 participants, an overwhelming majority of whom did little more than trespass inside the Capitol.

In fact, some of those who have been charged never made it inside the Capitol building. That doesn’t matter to Biden’s secret police, otherwise known as the FBI.

One man who did make it inside, Jacob Chansley, whom Tucker Carlson refers to as “Chewbacca guy” had the book thrown at him by a Washington, DC judge last week, sentencing him to nearly four years in prison, including time served, for his participation in the siege after Chansley—the “QAnon Shamam—pleaded guilty to “obstructing a federal proceeding.”

Viral video has shown Chansley doing nothing more than walking into the Senate chamber accompanied by a Capitol police officer and sitting in the Senate President’s chair. A dumb thing to do? Clearly. But nearly four years in prison? Ridiculous.

In a blog post by law professor Jonathan Turley, the contrast is made between Chansley and Thomas “Tas” Alexander Starks, 31 of Lisbon, North Dakota, the man Antifa member who took the axe to Hoeven’s office door last year.

One might think that since the FBI and the DOJ seem to take a rather serious approach to attacks on government officials such as members of Congress, they might treat all such cases the same. Not so much.

 

Under federal sentencing guidelines, Starks should have been looking at between 10-16 months in prison; however in this case, just as the DOJ took a hands-off approach in 2020 to Antifa and Black Lives Matter rioters, some of whom attacked federal buildings such as the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon and who tried to breach the perimeter fence at the White House, they took the same approach with Starks.

Starks pleaded guilty to a single charge of destruction of government property and was “sentenced” to probation and was fined $2784 in restitution for the damage.

Oh and to make matters worse, the FBI also returned his axe to him, a move which Starks actually mocked. He was praised by many (most likely fellow Antifa anarchists) and Democrat politicians actually helped out with his legal defense.

So clearly Starks was apologetic and humbled by the light sentence he was given, correct? Not so much. Under his pseudonym on Facebook, “Paul Dunyan,” he showed zero remorse and didn’t appear to be deterred from committing more violence such as this. In fact, his pseudonym shows something of an “in your face” reference to Paul Bunyan, folk hero who used an axe in the wilderness.

“Look what the FBI were kind enough to give back to me!” he posted on Facebook, appearing to mock the agency which had gone so lightly on him for attacking a government building.

The blog notes that Starks unashamedly displays the Antifa symbol, and while waiting to be sentenced for his attack on the Senator’s office, he wrote:

“I am ANTIFA. I will always attack fascists, racial superiority complexes built around nationalism that promotes genocide to fuel a war machine is the worst humanity has to offer.”

However it isn’t only the FBI and DOJ that has gone lightly on preferred criminals. Remember when GoFundMe blocked fundraising for the defense of Kyle Rittenhouse? Not Starks.

A fundraiser for his defense was permitted by that same platform. As mentioned earlier, prominent North Dakota Democrats donated to his defense, including former lieutenant governor candidate Ellen Chaffee.

On Tucker Carlson Tonight Monday night, Fox reporter Bill Melugin reported on Starks’ case and the light sentence he received, in sharp contrast to the treatment of Chansley.

Carlson reported:

“In case you’re looking for yet another example of justice applied unequally, here’s one: the QAnon Shaman just got three years in prison for walking, smiling around the Capitol building on Jan. 6. Meanwhile, in the rest of the country, Antifa, BLM, riots, setting things on fire, the feds went particularly easy on a vandal with an axe who smashed into a U.S. senator’s office.”

Indeed the contrast between what Chansley and Starks did couldn’t be starker (no pun intended).

During his time in the US Capitol, Chansley expressed no aggression whatsoever. He was respectful to the police officer who actually escorted him into the Senate chamber, he didn’t break anything, didn’t swear, or carry on. He basically acted as a loveable goofball.

A tale of two systems of justice: Trump supporters remain behind bars while anarchist thugs released on no bail
Jacob Chansley, QAnon Shaman entered US Capitol Jan 6-YouTube screenshot

Contrast that with Starks who took an axe and violently chopped up the door of Hoeven’s office. In both cases, no person was threatened nor was anyone injured. In the case of Chansley, no damage was done. In the case of Starks, he did nearly $3,000 in damage. Disparate treatment due to political ideology? You decide.

Returning the axe to Starks and the absurdity of doing so wasn’t lost on Professor Turley:

“Putting aside the light sentence, the returning of the axe is rather curious. It would seem an instrument of the crime and could be declared lost in any plea. Instead, it was returned as if it was a form of political expression by the Justice Department,” Turley wrote.

“Starks is now free to axe his way to a better world. It is hard to imagine the poor choice of prosecutors or the judge to cut such a deal with Starks (and not specify that the axe would be lost as an instrumentality of the crimes).”

Welcome to Biden’s America. Where political opponents are put in solitary confinement and given disparate jail terms while political allies are rewarded by getting their weapons of destruction back and getting a slap on the wrist.

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For more on the disparate treatment of Jan. 6 protesters at the US Capitol, we invite you to:

DIG DEEPER

WASHINGTON, DC – Rejecting the recommendation of prosecutors, a federal judge blasted prosecutors, saying that the Justice Department was being too hard on those who broke into the Capitol on January 6 compared to the people arrested during anti-racism protests following George Floyd’s murder.

U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden said Friday that he believes the Justice Department has not been “even-handed” with defendants who stormed the US Capitol on January 6, suggesting that they have been treated more harshly than the rioters in last year’s racial unrest.

Judge McFadden made the comments during a sentencing hearing for one of the Capitol rioters, Danielle Doyle, who was pictured entering the Capitol through a broken window and walking peacefully through the building.

The judge questioned why federal prosecutors had not brought more cases against those accused in the 2020 summertime protests led by Antifa and Black Lives Matter, reading out statistics on riot cases in the nation’s capital that were not prosecuted:

“I think the U.S. attorney would have more credibility if it was even-handed in its concern about riots and mobs in this city.”

https://twitter.com/JusticeAngel777/status/1444322885397581830

Prosecutors asked for Doyle to be sentenced to two months of home confinement, but the judge refused. He did not let her off easy, though. Judge McFadden instead gave her a $3,000 fine and ordered her to pay $500 for damages to the Capitol complex. The fine was the heftiest financial penalty a judge has levied so far against an insurrection defendant.

Judge McFadden, a Trump appointee, disagreed with the stricter sentences being handed down by other judges in similar cases, and sentenced Doyle to two months of home confinement. Despite the leniency shown to Doyle, the judge did lecture her:

“You were acting like those looters and rioters who attacked our city last year…

“You participated in a shameful event, a national embarrassment that, like last year’s riots, made us feel less safe and less confident that our country could be governed by democratic values and not mob rule.”

Republicans have been outspoken about what they see as unequal treatment of Capitol rioters and the riots of the summer of 2020. Many rioters since the summer have had sentences reduced, and often charges were dropped despite millions of dollars in damage and many businesses burned to the ground across the country.

An example is U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, who on Friday sentenced another rioter, Andrew Ryan Bennett, to three months of home confinement, accepting the request by prosecutors. In that case, the judge said:

“I can’t emphasize enough, as I’ve said before, that the cornerstone of our democratic republic is the peaceful transfer of power after an election.

“And what you and others did on Jan. 6 was nothing less than an attempt to undermine that system of government.”

Earlier this week, Boasberg sentenced Derek Jancart and Erik Rau, friends from Ohio, to 45 days in jail.

At her hearing, Doyle told the judge she never meant any harm:

“I love this country. So many people came here to represent things that were important to us but in the blink of an eye, all of those things were overshadowed.

“For that I’m sorry, because it overshadowed the things that were good.”

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Biden orders full assessment of ‘domestic violent extremism’ in wake of Capitol riots, does not mention BLM or Antifa

January 22, 2021

 

WASHINGTON, DC – President Joe Biden has ordered a full assessment of the risks posed by domestic terrorism in the shadow of the attack on the U.S. Capitol. The “domestic violent extremism (DVE)” assessment was announced during a Friday press briefing.

New White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said:

 “The January 6th assault on the Capitol and the tragic deaths and destruction that occurred underscored what we have long known: The rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing national security threat.

The Biden Administration will confront this threat with the necessary resources and resolve.”

The assessment will be conducted by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, led by newly confirmed Avril Haines, working with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, Psaki said at the briefing.

The administration’s focus on DVE is a clear acknowledgment that officials view the domestic unrest plaguing the United States in the past year, culminating in an attack on the United States Capitol on January 6 as a growing and concerning threat.

The review and plan put forth by the administration involves the Director of National Intelligence, which was created following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to prevent international terrorism. This pivots the attention of the government agency from external to internal terrorism threats.

Psaki said the “key point” being made by the administration is that they want facts to develop policy:

“We want fact-based analysis upon which we can shape policy. So, this is really the first step in the process. We will rely on our appropriate law enforcement and intelligence officials to provide that analysis.”

In addition to the threat assessment, the administration plans to develop its capability within the National Security Council (NSC) to confront the threat of domestic terrorism, including a review of the government’s information-sharing capabilities. Psaki said:

“The NSC will undertake a policy review effort to determine how the government can share information better about this threat, support efforts to prevent radicalization, disrupt violent extremist networks, and more.”

Psaki said she wanted to assure Americans that the administration’s actions would protect citizens’ rights while increasing government capabilities to monitor and counter domestic threats.

“We are committed to developing policies and strategies based on facts, on objective analysis, and on our respect for constitutionally protected free speech and political activities.”

“We need to understand better its current extent and where there may be gaps to address so we can determine the best path forward.”

The third step in Biden’s plan involves coordinating relative parts of the federal government to enhance and accelerate efforts to address DVE.

Addressing reporters following the briefing, Psaki said the President wanted to conduct the review and develop the DVE policy as a priority:

“It is a priority (of the administration to insure that we are assessing what is happening in government and if we could do it better. Clearly, more needs to be done. That is why the President is tasking the national security team to do exactly this review on his second full day in office.”

The announcement of the review and plan by the Biden administration did not make mention of violent protests and riots in cities across the nation over the summer by left-wing groups including Black Lives Matter and Antifa.

The attack on the Capitol on January 6 resulted in five deaths, including a Capitol police officer. The attack has led to the second impeachment of President Donald Trump and renewed a debate over whether there should be laws created specifically for domestic terrorism.

Thus far, terrorism policy and laws have focused mainly on international terrorism. Discuss and debate about the need for new laws to deal with domestic extremism have been sparked previously by school shootings and homegrown attacks like the one at a Pittsburgh synagogue that killed 11 people. 

Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.  And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

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