The prosecutors hoping to imprison Trump supporters for eternity over the January 6 Capitol kerfuffle are turning out to be blessedly incompetent. That’s a good thing for Trump supporters, since not a single Republican in Congress is willing to stick their neck out for their own base.
When was the last time you saw a Republican speak out about the injustice of holding Trump supporters without bail? Oh, right. That hasn’t happened yet. Not once. Fortunately, the prosecutors seem to be blinded by Trump Derangement Syndrome and they’re making serious blunders that jeopardize some of their cases.
In fairness, one Republican Senator has said something that was sort of, almost, just-about-but-not-really kind toward the Capitol protesters. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-MN) made headlines when he pointed out that he wasn’t really worried for his own safety on January 6. He didn’t believe the Capitol protesters were going to hurt anyone. It’s not like they were BLM or Antifa. Naturally, that caused a few media heads to explode, since you’re supposed to only refer to the protesters as “dangerous armed insurrectionists of sedition, treason and nefarious calumny.”
But other than Sen. Johnson, every other Republican Senator from Ted Cruz to Mitt Romney has insulted and slandered Donald Trump’s supporters because they delayed a meeting. Drama queen Ben Sasse (R-NE) whined that the “sacred” Capitol “has been desecrated. Blood has been spilled in the hallways.”
Yeah. That would be the blood of Ashley Babbitt, the San Diego housewife who traveled across the country to hear President Trump speak at the rally and got murdered for her efforts.
Mitch McConnell called the protest a “failed insurrection.” With friends like Mitch, it’s a good thing the prosecutors are overzealous and incompetent.
James Caldwell is a retired Navy veteran who needs assistance to move around. Prosecutors have been trying to throw the book at him, despite the fact that he didn’t hurt anyone or destroy anything on January 6 at the Capitol. They claimed in charging documents that Caldwell was a leader of the “Oath Keepers” – a Second Amendment fundraising group that’s often portrayed in the media as a “militia.”
One of Caldwell’s friends sent him a message via Facebook on January 6th that stated: “All members are in the tunnels under capital. Seal them in. Turn on gas.”
That’s obviously a joke. You can say that it’s tasteless, but it’s still a joke. Caldwell wasn’t going to wheel himself down into the Capitol basement, for one thing, and there’s no “gas” to turn on to poison members of Congress if they evacuate to those tunnels for their own safety. But prosecutors tried to use that obvious joke to show that Caldwell was a dangerous Oath Keeper, and even argued that Caldwell’s friend who made the joke should be imprisoned for it.
In a hearing on Caldwell’s case, prosecutors were forced to admit that the wheelchair-bound retired Navy veteran is not technically a dues-paying member of Oath Keepers or a leader of the group. But he had signed up for their email newsletters!
They also admitted that they had no evidence that Caldwell entered the Capitol building on January 6. A tiny bit of good news: The judge finally released Caldwell to home confinement, noting, “There’s evidence here that I think is favorable to Mr. Caldwell.”
The case against the QAnon shaman, Jacob Chansley, is also falling apart. He’s the gentleman in the buffalo horns who sang a song to bless the Senate chambers and then prevented other protesters from stealing muffins in the break room. Prosecutors have finally admitted they have no evidence that Chansley actually wanted to kidnap and/or assassinate any Members of Congress.
Prosecutors have also been trying to imprison a member of the Proud Boys named Ethan Nordean since the January 6 events. The US Attorney’s office argued that Nordean was leading the insurrection on January 6th and instructed others to bring weapons to storm the Capitol. They even claimed that Nordean used an encrypted messaging system to coordinate the actions of his underlings as they “assaulted our democracy.”
That sounds pretty amazing, except for the fact that Nordean is not a leader of the Proud Boys. Oh, and his cell phone carrier provided documentary evidence to the court that Nordean’s cell phone died on the morning of January 6, before the protests started. He wasn’t able to recharge his cell phone until that evening when he got back to his hotel. Not only was he not sending “encrypted” messages to coordinate things – he wasn’t sending messages at all because he couldn’t. Fortunately, the judge has denied prosecutors’ requests to send Nordean to the gulag with the other peaceful protesters.
It’s remarkable that prosecutors have been so willing to flat-out lie and make things up out of thin air to imprison Donald Trump’s supporters. But it’s even more remarkable that no Republican in Congress has had the courage to speak out against these kangaroo prosecutions.