Senator Johnson questions unequal treatment of Capitol rioters and last summer's rioters

In a letter penned by Senator Ron Johnson, he slammed the Department of Justice for what he views as "potential unequal justice," comparing January’s Capitol Hill rioters to last summers BLM riots.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

In a letter penned by Senator Ron Johnson, he slammed the Department of Justice for what he views as "potential unequal justice," comparing January’s Capitol Hill rioters to last summers BLM riots.

Johnson, a Senate Homeland Security Committee member, wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland about the discrepancies in discipline being applied to both parties.

"The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is currently dedicating enormous resources and manpower to investigating and prosecuting the criminals who breached the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. We fully support and appreciate the efforts by the DOJ and its federal, state and local law enforcement partners to hold those responsible fully accountable," wrote Johnson.

"We join all Americans in the expectation that the DOJ’s response to the events of January 6 will result in rightful criminal prosecutions and accountability.  As you are aware, the mission of the DOJ is, among other things, to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans," he continued.

Johnson pointed out that the summer 2020 riots "resulted in loss of life, injuries to law enforcement officers, and significant property damage," with at least $1 billion in paid insurance claims due to said damages.

"Despite these numerous examples of violence occurring during these protests, it appears that individuals charged with committing crimes at these events may benefit from infrequent prosecutions and minimal, if any, penalties," Johnson said.

Quoting a Politico article, the letter states that "prosecutors have approved deals in at least half a dozen federal felony cases arising from clashes between protesters and law enforcement in Oregon last summer. The arrangements - known as deferred resolution agreements - will leave the defendants with a clean criminal record if they stay out of trouble for a period of time and complete a modest amount of community service, according to defense attorneys and court records."

Johnson called said that the "unwillingness" on the DOJ to punish said individuals in connection with the summer 2020 riots stood in stark contrast with the DOJ’s treatment of individuals charges in connection to the January 6 Capitol Hill breach.

Johnson also points out that those charged in connection to the breach have been placed on an extensive public database listing "defendant’s name, charge(s), case number, case documents, location of arrest, case status, and informs readers when the entry was last updated."

No such database exists for those charged in connection to the riots last summer.

"Americans have the constitutional right to peaceably assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances.  This constitutional right should be cherished and protected.  Violence, property damage, and vandalism of any kind should not be tolerated and individuals that break the law should be prosecuted," wrote Johnson. "However, the potential unequal administration of justice with respect to certain protestors is particularly concerning."

Johnson requested answers to numerous questions in connection to both the summer 2020 riots and the January 6 breach, "In order to assist Congress in conducting its oversight work."

Only five senators signed the letter: Tommy Tuberville, Mike Lee, Rick Scott, and Ted Cruz, in addition to Johnson.

In an interview with Fox News’ Mark Levin, Johnson said that the media’s "slaughter and attack" of those that voiced opinions in contrast with the Democratic narrative surrounding such incidents was likely the reason why the letter received such few signatories.

"The fact that I just question the narrative that there were thousands of armed insurrections intent on overthrowing the government; you've seen how that's worked out for me," said Johnson. 'So our colleagues say look at that and decide they don't want to touch that issue with a 10-foot pole. But this is highly alarming. Every American should be concerned when we see the unequal administration of justice."


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