The District of Columbia has spent almost two years persecuting a good man because they wrongly thought he had guns in the city.
It wasn’t enough to prosecute Mark Witaschek for having one shotgun shell and a box of muzzleloader bullets. After a three-month trial that ended in a conviction, the city started an investigation into the businessman’s taxes.
This abuse of power must end.
On the word of a bitter ex, the police searched Mr. Witaschek’s Georgetown home twice in 2012 looking for guns. They never found the bounty of firearms since Mr. Witaschek, a hunter, keeps his guns at his sister’s home in Virginia.
The D.C. cops went to Sylvia Witaschek’s home in the commonwealth and demanded she show them the guns, but she refused.
The District’s unelected Attorney General Irvin Nathan infamously declined to prosecute NBC’s David Gregory for possession of a “high-capacity” magazine in December 2012, claiming it was not in the interest of public safety.
However, Mr. Nathan refused to drop the ammunitions charges against Mr. Witaschek and instead, sicced two of his prosecutors on the case, which dragged on for 18 months.
The judge did not rule on the shotgun shell, which had misfired at a hunt years ago. The District only allows registered gun owners to possess ammunition.
The nation’s capital did not think giving this man a criminal record was enough. At sentencing, Assistant District Attorney Oritsejemine Trouth asked the judge to demand Mr. Witaschek register as a gun offender with the police within 48 hours.
And they still weren’t done. The day after the trial, an agent from the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue showed up at Mr. Witaschek’s office.
His employer was given a summons to produce payroll and a multitude of other records for investigators by April 11. No allegations have yet been made in this fishing expedition.
Mr. Witaschek said he filed D.C. taxes and paid up to the due dates required, until he moved to Virginia last year.
I asked Mr. Witaschek why he thought this tax investigation suddenly arose.
“I think the police wanted to confiscate my guns from the beginning. They are really angry that I didn’t comply,” the businessman explained. “They will use whatever government resources they choose to get what they wanted — or make me pay. They already used the U.S. attorney, a grand jury, the D.C. attorney general, and now the Office of Tax and Revenue.”