Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan – a Barack Obama appointee – once again handed out a prison term to a January 6th defendant that was longer than what the prosecution requested. Mark Ponder was found guilty by a DC jury of attacking police officers with poles during the demonstration at the U.S. Capitol. The five-year and three-month sentence was three months longer than requested by prosecutors – the same sentence Chutkan gave Robert Palmer, a Florida man who also pleaded guilty to assaulting police at the Capitol.
Sandy Rios is director of governmental affairs for American Family Association. Rios says the sentences Chutkan is handing out are out of line and reminiscent of a Soviet-style lynching.
"It's my understanding that even robbers often do not get sentences that long," she tells AFN. "This is excessive – this is not Lady Justice; it's not blind justice. This is a shameful, shameful occurrence that's happening in our country right now."
Rios (right) is dismayed that Judge Chutkan apparently isn't alone in such treatment of the January 6th defendants.
"It is my understanding that all the judges are giving the harshest possible penalties to these prisoners – and that the juries they're appointing are finding these defendants guilty on every single count," she laments. "It's just a merciless, heartless, one-sided attack against people who supported Donald Trump on January 6th."
Living in a post-fairness era of legal justice
Christian Adams, founder and president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, is a former attorney for the Justice Department. He tells AFN there's little that can be done to help the beleaguered January 6th defendants who are being punished by a biased judicial system.
"The problem is when it's a judge handing out [the sentencing], you have very limited angles of attack – because the judge is usually going to be the final say on something that is so fact-oriented; namely, their treatment," he explains.
But according to Adams, it is the attorneys within the DOJ who are the driving force behind these decisions. "They're the ones who are going to court defending this treatment; they're the ones who are having their liberal ideologies play out in people's lives," he emphasizes.
And those attorneys, he says, are so "full of hatred" that they really think the January 6th defendants are like Adolf Hitler's Brownshirts.
"They actually believe that," Adams continues. "They think they're living in 1934 Germany where they could do something about it. So, they're using their power as government attorneys to make life miserable for the people whom they disagree with politically."
According to Rios, those being punished now wanted nothing more than to support their president that day – because what happened on Election Night didn't make any sense to them.
"They were concerned about voter fraud and malfeasance and the changing of laws and drop boxes," says the conservative pundit. "They watched the rallies of President Trump and saw thousands and thousands of people attend those rallies while Joe Biden [sat] alone in a basement – and they find it hard to believe that Joe Biden, as he claims, got more votes than even Barack Obama."
Rios fully expects persecution of Trump supporters will not stop with the January 6th participants. "I think [going after his supporters is] the only way they're going to be satisfied," she concludes. "This is a travesty of justice."
According to The Associated Press, more than 300 people have pleaded guilty so far to federal crimes stemming from the January 6th protest. More than 840 people have been charged with crimes ranging from low-level misdemeanors to serious felony charges such as seditious conspiracy.
Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates AFN.net.
7/29/22 - Sidebar added.