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.