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First felony sentencing for Jan 6th DC riot. How does it compare to the 2020 riots?


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Because there is no United States of Authoritarianism thread, I thought I'd drop this here.  Recall the USMC Lieutenant Colonel that posted a video demanding accountability for the FUBAR'd Afghanistan withdrawal.  Recall that he formerly submitted his resignation after having been relieved of command, all of which happened within a week of the video.  Today we learn that he's in pre-trial confinement.  That's right, instead of allowing him to resign his commission and walk away the Department of the Navy has decided to make an example of Lt. Colonel Scheller.  And making an example they surely are.  I have never heard of anybody, much less an officer, being held in confinement for a non-violent or otherwise non-felony type crime.  Yes, I know, in accordance with US law, all Courts Martial convictions are considered felonies.



The US Marine Corps officer who was relieved of his command for chastising his bosses over the botched Afghan withdrawal has landed in military lockup, his father said.

In a video that went viral on Facebook last month, Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller ripped into military leadership following the devastating suicide bombing at the Kabul airport, which killed 13 US service members and scores of Afghans.

Following the impassioned spiel, Lt. Col. Scheller announced he was resigning his commission and walking away from a $2 million pension after 17 years of service.

He later announced that he was ordered to undergo a mental health screening.

Now, his father told Task & Purpose that the officer is currently in the brig.


Edited by DKTanker
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Is there a difference of treatment between LTC Scheller and COL Hackworth, back in the 1970s?
Are their violations of the code of military justice comparable?
What about GEN Milley and his admission of treason?


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Judge Questions Whether Jan. 6 Rioters Are Treated Unfairly

A federal judge who sentenced a Jan. 6 rioter to probation on Friday, instead of a harsher punishment requested by prosecutors, suggested the U.S. Justice Department was being too hard on the Jan. 6 defendants and not hard enough on those accused in police brutality protests from last summer.

By Associated Press

Oct. 1, 2021


WASHINGTON (AP) — Rejecting the recommendation of prosecutors, a federal judge sentenced a Jan. 6 rioter to probation on Friday and suggested that the Justice Department was being too hard on those who broke into the Capitol compared to the people arrested during anti-racism protests following George Floyd’s murder.

U.S. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden questioned why federal prosecutors had not brought more cases against those accused in 2020 summertime protests, reading out statistics on riot cases in the nation's capital that were not prosecuted.

“I think the U.S. attorney would have more credibility if it was even-handed in its concern about riots and mobs in this city,” McFadden said during Danielle Doyle's sentencing for entering the Capitol on Jan. 6 with a throng of other rioters. Prosecutors recommended two months of home confinement.

The statements by McFadden, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, were a major departure from the other federal judges overseeing insurrection cases so far, despite other Trump appointees on the court assigned to the hundreds of cases. They have generally discussed seriousness of the crime and its unique place in American history - different from other violent free speech protests because it sought to disrupt the peaceful transition of power.


By contrast, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg on Friday sentenced another rioter, Andrew Ryan Bennett, to three months of home confinement, accepting the request by prosecutors. Bennett was accused of espousing conspiracy theories about the election and used “pugnacious rhetoric” in posting about his plans to be in Washington. The mob on Jan. 6 attacked and beat an overwhelmed police force, sent lawmakers running for their lives and did more than $1 million in damage to the building.

“I can’t emphasize enough, as I’ve said before, that the cornerstone of our democratic republic is the peaceful transfer of power after an election,” the judge told Bennett. “And what you and others did on Jan. 6 was nothing less than an attempt to undermine that system of government.”

Earlier this week, Boasberg, appointed by former President Barack Obama, sentenced Derek Jancart and Erik Rau, friends from Ohio, to 45 days in jail.

All three men had pleaded guilty to misdemeanors punishable by a maximum of six months’ imprisonment. Like Jancart and Rau, Bennett wasn’t accused of personally engaging in violence or property destruction.


Doyle, too, was not accused of violence in the mob. She climbed through a broken window and spent 24 minutes inside the building. She told the judge she had no intention of harming anyone, and she was sorry that a peaceful rally changed when people started breaking into the building.

“I love this country,” she said. “So many people came here to represent things that were important to us but in the blink of an eye, all of those things were overshadowed,” she said. “For that I’m sorry, because it overshadowed the things that were good.”

Meanwhile, a retired U.S. Special Forces soldier and onetime Florida congressional candidate was arrested for his role in the insurrection. Jeremy Brown was accused of a misdemeanor charge of entering restricted grounds. FBI officials received photos of Brown in tactical gear at the Capitol from an acquaintance of Brown's, and a rioter who pleaded guilty also confirmed to agents that Brown was there, according to court papers. He has said that federal officials called him and tried to get him to inform on others.

Brown ran for Congress in 2020 as a Republican in the 14th District, which includes Tampa and the surrounding area, but dropped out of the race in March 2020.


ETA counterpoint with lots of lawyers claiming their BLM defendants got treated more harshly than Capitol rioters:


Records rebut claims of unequal treatment of Jan. 6 rioters


It’s a common refrain from some of those charged in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and their Republican allies: The Justice Department is treating them harshly because of their political views while those arrested during last year’s protests over racial injustice were given leniency.

Court records tell a different story.

An Associated Press review of court documents in more than 300 federal cases stemming from the protests sparked by George Floyd’s death last year shows that dozens of people charged have been convicted of serious crimes and sent to prison.

The AP found that more than 120 defendants across the United States have pleaded guilty or were convicted at trial of federal crimes including rioting, arson and conspiracy. More than 70 defendants who’ve been sentenced so far have gotten an average of about 27 months behind bars. At least 10 received prison terms of five years or more.


To be sure, some defendants have received lenient deals.

At least 19 who have been sentenced across the country got no prison time or time served, according to the AP’s review. Many pleaded guilty to lower-level offenses, such as misdemeanor assault, but some were convicted of more serious charges, including civil disorder.

In Portland, Oregon — where demonstrations, many turning violent, occurred nightly for months after a white Minneapolis police officer killed Floyd — about 60 of the roughly 100 cases that were brought have been dismissed, court records show.

Most of those defendants received deferred resolution agreements, under which prosecutors promise to drop charges after a certain amount of time if the defendant stays out of trouble and completes things like community service. Some Jan. 6 defendants have complained it’s unfair they aren’t getting the same deals.

But President Joe Biden’s Justice Department has continued the vast majority of the racial injustice protest cases brought across the U.S. under Trump and has often pushed for lengthy prison time for people convicted of serious crimes. Since Biden took office in January, federal prosecutors have brought some new cases stemming from last year’s protests.


Just this month, a man was sentenced to four years behind bars and ordered to pay what his attorney said is likely to exceed $1.5 million in restitution after pleading guilty to inciting a riot last spring in Champaign, Illinois.

Shamar Betts, who was 19 at the time, posted a flyer on Facebook on May 31, 2020, that said “RIOT @ MarketPlace Mall” at 3 p.m. and instructed people to bring “friends & family, posters, bricks, bookbags etc.” He participated in the looting, went live on Facebook during the riot and bragged about starting it, authorities said. More than 70 stores were looted, and the riot caused $1.8 million in damage, prosecutors said.

Betts’ lawyer, Elisabeth Pollock, said Betts was frustrated about police brutality across the U.S., had lost his job because of the coronavirus outbreak and never intended to hurt anyone. Prosecutors pushed for the maximum punishment of five years in prison and the maximum restitution amount for Betts, who had no criminal history, she said.

“They took into account not a single mitigating factor: nothing about how he grew up, nothing about about how the George Floyd protests had affected the community, nothing about how the pandemic had affected Shamar personally and the community. There was absolutely no quarter given to him at all,” his attorney said in an interview.

In another case this month, an Illinois man was sentenced to nearly nine years behind bars for lighting a Minneapolis cellphone store on fire in June 2020. A Charleston, South Carolina, man who livestreamed himself looting a store downtown was sentenced to two years in prison.


Meanwhile, in Utah this month, a federal judge sentenced 25-year-old Lateesha Richards to nearly two years in prison for tossing a pair of basketball shorts onto an overturned, burning patrol car and hurling a baseball bat toward police officers during a May 2020 protest in Salt Lake City. There’s no evidence that the bat struck anybody.

Richards initially was charged with an arson count that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, but she avoided that possibility with a deal under which she pleaded to a charge of civil disorder.

The judge said Richards’ actions were dangerous and put hundreds of peaceful protesters in harm’s way. Richards didn’t start the fire that engulfed the police vehicle, but she did “add fuel to the flames,” he added.

Defense attorney Alexander Ramos, who had pushed for the judge to sentence Richards to the one year in jail she has already served, said the Floyd protesters appear to be getting even more scrutiny than comparable “run-of-the mill” cases.

“If it didn’t have this political background, I think more people would have been let out,” Ramos told the AP.

On the same day in May, Kelsey Donnel Jackson traveled to downtown Charleston, South Carolina, with a cousin to join a protest over Floyd’s killing. Hours later, as other protesters began flipping tables and taunting police officers, Jackson lighted a shirt on fire and tossed it onto the trunk of a vandalized police car.

Jackson also vandalized businesses and public property, assaulted two people and streamed a video of himself on Facebook Live in which he held a handgun and made threatening statements about police, according to prosecutors.

He was sentenced this summer to two years in prison after pleading guilty to maliciously damaging a police vehicle with fire.

Jackson’s lawyer wrote in court documents before his sentencing that many people who stormed the Capitol “with the clear intent to disrupt a session of Congress and overturn a lawful election” were charged only with misdemeanor offenses.

“We do not make reference to unrelated conduct in other jurisdictions in order to minimize (Jackson’s) conduct and culpability, but rather to point out that similar (and more egregious) conduct that was very obviously intended to intimidate law enforcement and interfere with government operations has been treated in a less heavy-handed manner elsewhere,” his attorney wrote.


Edited by BansheeOne
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23 hours ago, BansheeOne said:


Records rebut claims of unequal treatment of Jan. 6 rioters

In Portland, Oregon — .... — about 60 of the roughly 100 cases that were brought have been dismissed, court records show. Most of those defendants received deferred resolution agreements, under which prosecutors promise to drop charges after a certain amount of time if the defendant stays out of trouble and completes things like community service.

Not much of a rebuttal of the allegation then. 

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16 minutes ago, Markus Becker said:

Not much of a rebuttal of the allegation then. 

How dare you! If the headline says so, then it MUST be true.
What kind of Trumpist, racist, climate-change-denialist being are you, anyway?

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More likely the journo editor did not want to upset the narrative - too much.

Also, it shows the usefulness of reading something before posting it in the Grate Sight.

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There are in fact at least two problems with that piece, maybe more, but closely interconnected. You can sense it wants to make the case that BLM protesters are in fact being treated more harshly than the Capitol rioters; not least because while it points out where they have gotten off lightly, it fails to offer counterpoints to the complaints of the lawyers in the cited cases where they didn't. Also the way reference to it was interjected in the later report on the recent judgements above (I left out that part, exactly because it was diversive noise on the subject, but it led me to include the second piece as such). 

One problem is that it's trying to compare jurisprudence on the Capitol riot where it really has just a short span of proceedings with a single felony sentencing to draw on so far with that on last year's events which, while still ongoing, has accumulated a substantial amount of findings; that's even stated in the text, so it's much too early to draw valid comparisons. I also note it juxtaposes (if sometimes questionable) cases of arson as well as incitement to riot, looting, assault and brandishing guns with cases of entering the Capitol, but no further violence involved. 

It does however actually make one point - violent BLM rioters certainly weren't shown leniency, even though many participating in the protests got off on plea deals; just like many at the Capitol, as the defenders of the harder cases bemoan. So what this is in the end is another indicator that both camps are complaining about unequal treatment, with no convincing evidence. 

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Capitol Police whistleblower delivers scathing rebuke to two of its senior leaders on Jan. 6

The whistleblower alleges, among multiple serious allegations, that former acting chief Yogananda Pittman lied to Congress about an intelligence report Capitol Police received before that day’s riot.


10/08/2021 03:34 PM EDT

A former high-ranking Capitol Police official with knowledge of the department’s response to the Jan. 6 attack has sent congressional leaders a scathing letter accusing two of its senior leaders of mishandling intelligence and failing to respond properly during the riot.

The whistleblower, who requested anonymity for privacy reasons and left the force months after the attack, sent the 16-page letter late last month to the top members of both parties in the House and Senate. His missive makes scorching allegations against Sean Gallagher, the Capitol Police’s acting chief of uniformed operations, and Yogananda Pittman, its assistant chief of police for protective and intelligence operations — who also served as its former acting chief.

The whistleblower accuses Gallagher and Pittman of deliberately choosing not to help officers under attack on Jan. 6 and alleges that Pittman lied to Congress about an intelligence report Capitol Police received before that day’s riot. After a lengthy career in the department, the whistleblower was a senior official on duty on Jan. 6.

The whistleblower’s criticism went beyond Capitol Police leaders to Congress. Without naming specific lawmakers, his letter accuses congressional leaders of having “purposefully failed” to tell the truth about the department’s failures.

POLITICO obtained the letter detailing the allegations, which is circulating among Capitol Police officers, and is publishing portions of it here. To protect the whistleblower’s identity, POLITICO is not publishing the letter in full.


The whistleblower accused Pittman of lying to Congress about a key intelligence report the department received in late December. That report noted that a blog called "thedonald.win" posted a map of the Capitol campus, and that commenters on the site called for protesters to carry guns and confront members of Congress on Jan. 6.

Pittman told congressional investigators in April that a cohort of senior officials in the department were also aware of that intelligence before the attack. The whistleblower claimed in his letter, however, that other officials did not receive the intelligence report, and that Pittman lied when she said they did.

“These officials were the only officials that had all the intelligence information for the 6th,” the whistleblower wrote, regarding Gallagher and Pittman.

“The single most important piece of intelligence information ... was never shared with any members of USCP leadership,” the whistleblower added, asking: “Why did they approve the operational plan for the 6th if they knew the intelligence?”

A senior law enforcement official said that other people in the department actually did have the intelligence, but that it clearly should have been distributed more widely. The Capitol Police spokesperson disputed the allegation that Pittman lied to Congress and noted that the department has changed its internal and external intelligence-sharing practices because of the attack.

However, the report in question wasn’t the only key piece of intelligence that didn’t reach the right people in the department, according to the whistleblower. Gallagher and Pittman also had information showing groups that received permits to hold events surrounding the Capitol on Jan. 6 were all front operations for Stop the Steal, the whistleblower wrote.

Stop the Steal was a movement promoting the conspiracy theory that nefarious forces stole the election from Trump. The movement’s organizers promoted a rally on the National Mall that preceded the attack on the Capitol.

That was “game changing information,” the whistleblower added, but operational commanders — meaning, the law enforcement officers in the field supervising police activity — never learned about it.

In the whistleblower’s view, Gallagher and Pittman had all the intelligence needed to justify demanding reinforcements from the National Guard, closing the doors to the Capitol and using tougher but less-than-lethal weapons on the morning of Jan. 6. But they didn’t share that intelligence with the right people, the whistleblower wrote, and instead approved a woefully inadequate security plan.

The whistleblower also said he spent hours during the attack in the Capitol Police’s Command Center with Pittman and Gallagher, claiming that they did little to stop the violence. The whistleblower's presence in the command center on Jan. 6 was confirmed by two other law enforcement officials and a third person who was there during the attack.

Those three people gave different accounts of how long the whistleblower was there. One of the people said he was there for six hours, another said he was there for “several” hours and a third said he was there for less than two hours.

“What I observed was them mostly sitting there, blankly looking at the TV screens showing real time footage of officers and officials fighting for the Congress and their lives,” the whistleblower wrote.


The two law enforcement official who confirmed Pittman and Gallagher's presence in the command center disputed the claim that they passively watched the attacks. Those officials said Gallagher focused on bringing in support from the National Guard and law enforcement partners, and that Pittman focused on the evacuation and protection of members of Congress and the vice president.

The whistleblower, however, wrote that officials and officers have resigned from the department en masse because Pittman and Gallagher haven’t been held accountable for what happened that day.





US Capitol rioter who downplayed the attack is sentenced to three months in jail

By Hannah Rabinowitz

Updated 2125 GMT (0525 HKT) October 8, 2021

(CNN) - A federal judge on Friday sentenced one of the US Capitol rioters to three months in jail, saying that the punishment should be a warning to other defendants that they deserve incarceration if they deflect responsibility or downplay the attack.

"It has become evident to me in the riot cases that many of the defendants who are pleading guilty are not truly accepting responsibility," District Judge Thomas Hogan said.

"They seem to me to be trying to get this out of the way as quickly and as inexpensively as possible -- stating whatever they have to say in the guilty plea, getting probation, and hoping that would be the end of it," he added.

Hogan said that defendants who claimed they didn't realize the severity of the riot are "trying to escape responsibility," and that "other participants in that riot who are guilty of an infraction... can expect to receive jail time."

His comments came during the sentencing for Robert Reeder, of Maryland, who pleaded guilty in June to unlawfully demonstrating inside the Capitol. Hogan sentenced Reeder to three months in jail, and ordered that Reeder pay $500 for damages to the Capitol complex.

Though defendants who have pleaded guilty are not required to apologize, it could persuade a judge to show leniency at sentencing. Prosecutors have already cited defiant comments from some rioters to argue that they deserve time behind bars, and this sentence could set a benchmark for judges as they deal with other low-level cases with defendants who have denied the severity of the insurrection.

Reeder was initially scheduled to be sentenced in August, but the hearing was abruptly postponed after the online group known as the Sedition Hunters tweeted newly discovered clips and photos, apparently showing Reeder pushing a police officer outside the Capitol building.

Though the plea deal prosecutors signed with Reeder gave the Justice Department the chance to charge Reeder for the assault, they declined to do so. Instead, prosecutors increased their recommended sentence to six months in jail, siting what they called a "rewrite of reality" in Reeder's claims to the FBI that he was nonviolent at the riot, not a Trump supporter and believed he had permission to enter the Capitol.


So far, more than 95 Capitol riot defendants have pleaded guilty to federal charges. Thirteen have been sentenced. Reeder is the seventh Capitol riot defendant who has received jail time.


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Federal Judge finds DC Jail officials in contempt of court and demands civil rights inquiry. 



In a major rebuke of the Justice Department and D.C. Department of Corrections, District Court Judge Royce Lamberth today found the jail’s warden and director of the Department of Corrections in contempt of court for refusing to turn over records related to the care of Christopher Worrell, a January 6 detainee who suffers from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and a broken hand. He has been incarcerated under a pre-trial detention order sought by Joe Biden’s Justice Department and approved by the court’s chief judge since his arrest in March; Worrell has been in the D.C. jail used specifically to house January 6 defendants since April.

Lamberth scheduled the hearing on Tuesday after D.C. Jail Warden Wanda Patten and DOC Director Quincy Booth failed to comply with his October 8 order to submit the evaluation by an orthopedic surgeon, who determined in June that Worrell needed surgery for a broken hand he suffered in May, and also to submit Worrell’s medical requests related to needed cancer treatments. Jail officials and attorneys representing the department claimed the screw-up was a miscommunication but Lamberth rejected their argument. “I don’t accept that explanation,” Lamberth said. “No one noticed in jail that he’s sitting there in pain all the time? Does no one care?”

Worrell’s attorney, Alex Savron, told Lamberth his client is being subjected to “cruel and unusual punishment” in the jail. A medical team recommended that Worrell start receiving six months of “intense” chemotherapy and radiation but jail officials were vague as to how they would care for Worrell’s side effects including ongoing pain and nausea.


Lamberth called the jail’s treatment of Worrell “inexcusable” and questioned aloud whether Worrell was being treated differently because he is a January 6 defendant. (I have reported here for months how the constitutional and human rights of January 6 detainees have been routinely violated at the D.C. jail.)

In an order filed after the hearing, Lamberth referred the matter to the attorney general “for appropriate inquiry into potential civil rights violations of January 6 defendants, as exemplified in this case.”

The FBI raided Worrell’s home in Cape Coral, Florida on March 12 and charged him with multiple offenses including spraying a police officer with pepper spray, disorderly conduct, and civil disorder. Worrell, who has no criminal record, never entered the building. A few days after his arrest, Beryl Howell, an Obama appointee and chief judge of the D.C. District court handling every January 6 case, reversed a lower court ruling allowing for Worrell’s release. The court was aware of Worrell’s cancer diagnosis but ordered him transported from Florida to the D.C. jail.

In June, Lamberth denied another motion for Worrell’s release. An emergency motion for Worrell’s release filed by Worrell’s former attorney in August is still pending before the court; Joe Biden’s Justice Department still wants Worrell held behind bars, despite his deteriorating condition, arguing in a response motion that Worrell “has received substantial and timely care.”


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Lame troll is lame.

Here is a different question - is Worrell's case unusual or are prisoners who have not been convicted of any crime routinely denied proper medical attention?

Not that the prison system should get a pass because his treatment isn't unusually poor - the standard should not be that all prisoners are treated equally badly, but that they are all treated properly.

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