Liberal lawmakers and media personalities have repeatedly claimed that a swath of “domestic terrorists” was responsible for the Jan. 6 incursion into the U.S. Capitol.
In reality, the FBI is considering dropping charges for some of those in the crowd whose only crime was unlawfully entering the building.
In the early hours of Jan. 7, after the events at the Capitol transpired, prosecutors vowed heavy action against those involved in the riots. Michael Sherwin, the acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, was one figure who made such promises, according to Fox News.
“We’re not going to keep anything out of our arsenal for potential charges,” Sherwin said at a news conference. “We will bring the most maximum charges we can based upon the conduct.”
However, after a closer evaluation, the Justice Department has seemingly realized that the evidence brought against many of the rioters amounts to little more than minor criminal charges.
“Due to the wide variety of behavior, some federal officials have argued internally that those people who are known only to have committed unlawful entry — and were not engaged in violent, threatening or destructive behavior — should not be charged, according to people familiar with the discussions,” The Washington Post reported.
This is not to excuse the behavior of the people involved in the activity. In particular, those who did act violently or engaged in threats should be heavily prosecuted and held responsible.
However, to equate every person in the Capitol building that day with the most radical offenders is simply dishonest.
“Among those roughly 800 people, FBI agents and prosecutors have so far seen a broad mix of behavior — from people dressed for military battle, moving in formation, to wanton vandalism, to simply going with the crowd into the building,” according to The Post.
This has not stopped activists from treating every person who entered the Capitol with the same amount of contempt.
Amy Siskind, president of the leftist organization “The New Agenda,” tweeted that “every single one” of the people who moved past the barrier and entered the building on Jan. 6 should be arrested.
EVERY. SINGLE. ONE who breached that barrier should be arrested. Every single one! https://t.co/ln6Amnkydz
— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) January 7, 2021
Notice that she makes no distinction between those who acted violently and those who simply followed a crowd into an already open door.
While unlawful entry is still a misdemeanor, it is not the same thing as threatening elected officials or even vandalism. Typically, it would not result in the same punishment.
Some members of the media have gone even further than Siskind. In an opinion piece for Fortune, Matthew Schmidt wrote that the Capitol rioters should be compared to ISIS.
“It’s not a long road from zip ties and threatening to kidnap or assassinate officials to the atrocities committed by the terrorist group ISIS,” Schmidt wrote.
While he specifically called out QAnon supporter Jacob Chansley, otherwise known as Jake Angeli, he said Chansley was “not alone.”
Schmidt added that former President Donald Trump’s “winking and nodding” spurred on the entire crowd.
“To the crowd of mostly white, Christianist men feeling the sting of their fictional oppression, the message of all the winking and nodding was clear: Bring guns; your government is captured by extremists; you are the ‘real’ nation; take back your country,” Schmidt wrote.
Never mind that Trump never actually said anything of that sort, or that many of those who entered the Capitol building were not armed. The implication is that everyone involved, including Trump, is basically as dangerous as ISIS.
After you spend four years calling everyone who ever voted for Trump an evil racist, people are eventually going to stop believing you — even if your point about some of these extreme rioters has merit.
Yet many members of the left are proving incapable of treating Republicans like fellow Americans.
Indeed, Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York says that members like Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas need to be removed from Congress simply for exercising their constitutional right to object to the electoral vote count.
.@AOC to Cruz and Hawley: “You will never be President. You will never command the respect of this country. And you should resign.”
— Charlotte Alter (@CharlotteAlter) January 13, 2021
Maybe if Democrats took a long, hard look at themselves, they would see that their actions have led to dividing America just as much as Republicans’ actions.
If they had not decried the possibility of election fraud before it was even investigated, maybe extremists like Chansley would have trusted the governmental system and not felt the need to riot.
Violence outside the context of war is reprehensible, and we should in no way condone it.
But in order to stop it, we have to understand — Republican or Democrat — how our actions can lead to violence in the first place.
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