Proceeding with charges against 59 defendants.
More than 200 people were arrested in Washington, DC last year during violent anti-Trump demonstrations. Innocent people were intimidated, windows were smashed and a limousine was even burned, yet many of those arrested are getting off with next to nothing.
We have been following this story:
- Six Inauguration Day Rioters to Face Jury in First Felony Trial
- Six Inauguration Day ‘Protestors’ Found Not Guilty On All Charges
Based largely on the outcome of the first round of prosecutions, the government is dropping lots of other charges. Zoe Tilliman reports at BuzzFeed:
Prosecutors Are Dropping Most Of The Cases Against People Arrested On Trump’s Inauguration Day
Federal prosecutors will dismiss cases against 129 people still facing criminal charges in connection with mass arrests on President Donald Trump’s Inauguration Day, according to court papers filed on Thursday.
Cases are pending for 188 defendants following the acquittal of six defendants at the end of the first trial in December. The government explained in its latest court filing that it planned to proceed with charges, including felony counts, against 59 defendants, but would file a motion to dismiss the indictment in the remaining 129 cases.
Assistant US Attorney Jennifer Kerkhoff, the lead prosecutor, wrote that the government had decided to dismiss the majority of the cases “in light of the legal rulings by the court and the jury’s verdicts in the first trial of these cases.”
The US attorney’s office told the court that it would focus its efforts now on defendants who allegedly engaged in “identifiable acts of destruction, violence, or other assaultive conduct,” participated in planning violence and destruction, or who knowingly participated in what’s known as “black bloc” tactics in order to aid violence and destruction.
This does not mean it’s all over. Some defendants still face fines and jail time:
Most of the 188 remaining defendants faced eight charges, including a felony count of inciting a riot, two misdemeanor counts of engaging in a riot and conspiracy to riot, and five felony counts of property destruction. Although the judge during the first trial granted a motion to acquit the defendants of the felony incitement charge at the conclusion of testimony, the government did not say in Thursday’s filing that it planned to drop that charge.
The felony charges carry maximum penalties of 10 years in jail and a $25,000 fine. The misdemeanors have maximum penalties of 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
If you are disappointed that more of these fools have not been held responsible for their actions, all is not lost. John Sexton of Hot Air makes a great point here:
Assuming prosecutors can tie the remaining 59 defendants to specific crimes and actually secure convictions in those cases, this seems like a much better approach. And if you add in the 20 individual who have already pleaded guilty you could wind up with as many as 79 convictions out of 215 people charged. That would be a decent result and should put a dent in future Antifa organizing and rioting in the city.
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