A Washington Post analysis suggested that the sentences of Jan. 6 Capitol Riot defendants may reflect political bias on the part of the judges handling these cases.
Latest in Jan. 6: Prosecutions
The indictment sets out the most serious criminal charge yet used against any of the Capitol rioters, but it also shows the limits of the criminal law in responding to Jan. 6.
On Jan. 8, a grand jury indicted Stewart Rhodes, founder and leader of the far-right group Oath Keepers, in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Charges against him and 10 other alleged Oath Keeper members include seditious conspiracy for organizing the plot to attack the Capitol.
Last week marked one year since the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill, in which a mob of Trump supporters attacked Congress in an effort to stop the certification of Joe Biden's election as president of the United States.
Lawfare senior editor Roger Parloff has a piece out on Lawfare, entitled “The Conspirators: The Proud Boys and Oath Keepers on Jan. 6.” It is an examination of the major conspiracy indictments flowing from the January 6 investigation. Both sets of indictments focus on far right militia organizations that participated in the attack—one set on the group called the Oath Keepers; the other on a group called the Proud Boys.
Two groups appear to have played an outsized role in the events of that day, and their cases should hold particular interest for those trying to understand the causes of the insurrection.
D.C. District Court Judges have handled the Jan. 6 cases in a way that exemplifies Chief Justice Roberts's defense of the "independent judiciary" as "something we should all be thankful for.”
On Dec. 10, U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich found that a central felony charge in a large subset of the Jan. 6 cases had been properly invoked and was not unconstitutionally vague. This is likely a very big win for the government.
Roger Parloff is a senior editor at Lawfare and the author of the recent article, “What Do—and Will—the Criminal Prosecutions of the Jan. 6 Capitol Rioters Tell Us?” It is a deep dive on the demographics, the charges and the adjudications of the Capitol riot cases so far.
A look at the guilty pleas so far sheds light on who the defendants are, what their goals were, how evidence is being gathered, and how prosecutors and judges are coping with the largest federal criminal investigation in history.