GOP senators send AG Garland incriminating letter, detail concerns about two-tiered justice under Biden

A group of U.S. senators sent Attorney General Merrick Garland a letter Monday expressing concern about what looks to be a two-tiered system of justice under the Biden administration.

The Republican lawmakers noted a “potential unequal administration of justice” when comparing the treatment of social justice rioters in 2020 with Jan. 6 rioters at the U.S. Capitol. As for the latter, the senators said they “fully support” and appreciate efforts by the DOJ and its partners “to hold those responsible fully accountable.”

Signed by U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), the letter asks for information on the limited prosecutions and minimal penalties given to rioters arrested in the spring and summer of 2020 — this being the time period where a number of American cities were decimated by Black Lives Matter riots.

“As you are aware, the mission of the DOJ is, among other things, to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans,” the letter reads. “Today, we write to request information about our concerns regarding potential unequal justice administered in response to other recent instances of mass unrest, destruction, and loss of life throughout the United States.”

“Individuals used peaceful protests across the country to engage in rioting and other crimes that resulted in loss of life, injuries to law enforcement officers, and significant property damage,” the senators wrote, adding that “property destruction stemming from the 2020 social justice protests… will reportedly result in at least $1 billion to $2 billion in paid insurance claims.”

While the media was largely supportive of last year’s riots, there were other serious consequences. Citing data compiled by the DOJ in June 2020, the letter noted:

  • “One federal officer [was] killed, 147 federal officers [were] injured and 600 local officers [were] injured around the country during the protests, frequently from projectiles.”
  • According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), “since the start of the unrest there has been 81 Federal Firearms License burglaries of an estimated loss of 1,116 firearms; 876 reported arsons; 76 explosive incidents; and 46ATF arrests[.]”

The senators said “it appears that individuals charged with committing crimes at these events may benefit from infrequent prosecutions and minimal, if any, penalties, before noting in Oregon, arrangements made by prosecutors — known as deferred resolution agreements — will leave many defendants “with a clean criminal record.”

“DOJ’s apparent unwillingness to punish these individuals who allegedly committed crimes during the spring and summer 2020 protests stands in stark contrast to the harsher treatment of the individuals charged in connection with the January 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.,” the letter added. “To date, DOJ has charged 510 individuals stemming from Capitol breach.”

It was pointed out that the DOJ maintains and updates a webpage listing defendants charged with crimes committed at the Capitol, yet no such database exists for alleged perpetrators of crimes associated with the spring and summer 2020 riots.

A total of 18 questions were included in the letter, nine addressing the 2020 protests and nine addressing the Jan. 6 protest:

Spring and Summer 2020 Unrest:

1. Did federal law enforcement utilize geolocation data from defendants’ cell phones to track protestors associated with the unrest in the spring and summer of 2020? If so, how many times and for which locations/riots?

2. How many individuals who may have committed crimes associated with protests in the spring and summer of 2020 were arrested by law enforcement using pre-dawn raids and SWAT teams?

3. How many individuals were incarcerated for allegedly committing crimes associated with protests in the spring and summer of 2020?

4. How many of these individuals are or were placed in solitary confinement? What was the average amount of consecutive days such individuals were in solitary confinement?

5. How many of these individuals have been released on bail?

6. How many of these individuals were released on their own recognizance or without being required to post bond?

7. How many of these individuals were offered deferred resolution agreements?

8. How many DOJ prosecutors were assigned to work on cases involving defendants who allegedly committed crimes associated with protests in the spring and summer of 2020?

9. How many FBI personnel were assigned to work on cases involving defendants who allegedly committed crimes associated with protests in the spring and summer of 2020?

January 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol Breach:

10. Did federal law enforcement utilize geolocation data from defendants’ cell phones to track protestors associated with the January 6, 2021 protests and Capitol breach? If so, how many times and how many additional arrests resulted from law enforcement utilizing geolocation information?

11. How many individuals who may have committed crimes associated with the Capitol breach were arrested by law enforcement using pre-dawn raids and SWAT teams?

12. How many individuals are incarcerated for allegedly committing crimes associated with the Capitol breach?

13. How many of these individuals are or were placed in solitary confinement? What was the average amount of consecutive days such individuals were in solitary confinement?

14. How many of these individuals have been released on bail?

15. How many of these individuals have been released on their own recognizance or without being required to post bond?

16. How many of these individuals were offered deferred resolution agreements?

17. How many DOJ prosecutors have been assigned to work on cases involving defendants who allegedly committed crimes associated with the Capitol breach?

18. How many FBI personnel were assigned to work on cases involving defendants who allegedly committed crimes associated with the Capitol breach?

 

Tom Tillison

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