September 6, 2023

A Shameful J6 Sentence

Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio felt the full wrath of our nation’s two-tiered justice system.

You don’t have to be a Proud Boys supporter to be sickened by what went down yesterday in the January 6 criminal case against the group’s leader, Enrique Tarrio.

And what went down is this: Tarrio was sentenced to 22 years in prison on charges of “seditious conspiracy” for his role in the riot at the Capitol. That’s the longest sentence for anyone associated with J6 — and Tarrio got it despite the fact that he wasn’t even at the Capitol that day.

Even the Leftmedia can’t help but note as much. As Politico reports: “Tarrio, unlike most of his co-conspirators, was not at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Upon his arrival in Washington on Jan. 4, 2021, he was arrested for his role in the theft and burning of a Black Lives Matter flag from a church after an earlier pro-Trump march. Tarrio was released the next day and ordered to leave Washington D.C., so he headed with a group of allies to a hotel in Baltimore.”

Today marks 31 months since the riot that led to the largest investigation in American history — an investigation in which more than 1,100 people were ultimately charged, with at least 630 having pleaded guilty and another 110 being convicted at trial. So much for the guarantee enshrined in our Constitution’s Sixth Amendment: “The accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury.”

As for impartial juries, how likely is it that any of the J6 defendants who went to trial rather than copping a plea got the benefit of such a jury, given that Washington, DC, went 19-to-1 for Joe Biden over Donald Trump?

As The New York Times reports: “Until now, the longest prison term connected to Jan. 6 had been 18 years. That sentence was issued last week to Ethan Nordean, one of Mr. Tarrio’s co-defendants. The same sentence was given in a separate case in May to Stewart Rhodes, the leader of another far-right group, the Oath Keepers militia, who also was found guilty of sedition in connection with the storming of the Capitol.”

The Times continues: “The penalty imposed on Mr. Tarrio at a three-hour hearing in Federal District Court in Washington was the final sentence to be lodged against the five members of the Proud Boys who were tried on seditious conspiracy charges earlier this year. Three other men in the case — Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl and Dominic Pezzola — were each sentenced last week to between 10 and 17 years in prison.”

As for that “seditious conspiracy” charge, which the state says was a plot to keep Trump in power, we’re not sure exactly how that relative handful of flagpole-brandishing protesters was going to carry off such a grand conspiracy — especially given that Mr. 81 Million Votes himself repeatedly says that anyone who wants to take on the U.S. government would need some “F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons.” But that’s beside the point. These Proud Boys are guilty, by golly. Of seditious conspiracy.

Tarrio spoke at his hearing, and he apologized profusely for what he did, calling the events of January 6 “a national embarrassment.”

“I will have to live with that shame and disappointment for the rest of my life,” he said. “We invoked 1776 and the Constitution of the United States and that was so wrong to do. That was a perversion. The events of January 6 is something that should never be celebrated.”

If that mea culpa was meant to curry favor with the judge, an utterly bizarre Trump appointee named Tim Kelly, it didn’t work. Not one bit. Twenty-two years.

As independent journalist Julie Kelly (no relation) opined, “‘Conservative’ judge Tim Kelly condemning private speech as he prepares to throw the book at Enrique Tarrio (who wasn’t in DC on January 6) and has agreed to add terror enhancement to prison sentence. Tell me — who is the genius who recommended this clown to Trump?”

On that note, we’re a bit puzzled by how justice is being meted out for political protests that descend into rioting. As we wrote back in May, when Tarrio and his colleagues were convicted:

Anyone who doubts that we have a two-tiered justice system need only consider the rioting that took place during Trump’s inauguration in 2017, after which 214 people were indicted on felony rioting charges that carry a maximum sentence of 10 years and a fine of up to $25,000. This seemed altogether appropriate for the antifa thugs who “smashed storefronts and bus stops, hammered out the windows of a limousine, and eventually launched rocks at a phalanx of police.”

Six cops were injured that day, but, as the Associated Press reported more than two years later, the government dropped the charges against every last one of the rioters.

So: Riot to support Donald Trump, and you’ll get up to 22 years. Riot to denounce Donald Trump, and you’ll get your charges dismissed.

Actually, though, our brush isn’t nearly broad enough. If you riot on behalf of any left-wing cause, you’re likely to get off scot-free or with minimal punishment. Ask yourself: How many high-profile, harsh-sentence cases can you think of that came out of the George Floyd riots? Or what sentence did those antifa thugs get for clashing with cops and trying to burn down a federal courthouse in Portland? And how about those capitol-commandeering clowns in Nashville? They got a trip to the White House.

And what about all those felonious protesters who terrorized sitting Supreme Court justices in the run-up to last year’s Dobbs decision, which rightly overturned the half-century-old legal abomination known as Roe v. Wade?

We’ve said it many times before, but it bears repeating till we’re blue in the face: There are two tiers of justice in this country — one left and one right, separate and unequal.

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