- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado led House Republicans demanding Tuesday that the Justice Department explain its reportedly disparate treatment of the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill rioters versus those 2020 Black Lives Matter rioters who attacked federal buildings.

In their letter, Ms. Boebert and 10 other House Republicans asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to address “the apparent inconsistent application of the law with respect to rioters across the country.”

“The foundation of our criminal justice system requires that all defendants are treated equally before the law, but the Biden regime is not living up to this solemn obligation,” said Ms. Boebert in a statement.

The letter said that Oregon prosecutors have signed off on at least a dozen “deferred resolution agreements in federal felony cases” from clashes in last year’s social-justice protests, while some Jan. 6 rioters have been held in solitary confinement.

“Reports are circulating that the Biden regime has held January 6th rioters in solitary confinement, while at the same time, they are letting BLM rioters that attacked federal buildings off with just a few hours of community service,” Ms. Boebert said. 

“This is not an equal standard of justice. I condemn all forms of political violence, and all political violence must be prosecuted fairly,” she said.

Last month, four Senate Republicans led by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas sought information from Mr. Garland on “the limited prosecutions and minimal penalties given to rioters arrested during the spring and summer of 2020.”

During the 2020 protests, one federal officer, David Patrick Underwood, was shot and killed and more than 700 federal and local officers were injured, while the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said there were 81 firearms burglaries; the loss of an estimated 1,116 firearms; 876 reported arsons; 76 explosive incidents, and 46 ATF arrests, the letter said.

Five people died in the Jan. 6 riots, but none at the hands of rioters. Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed by Capitol Police; three protesters died of accidental or natural causes; and Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick suffered two strokes and died the next day.

The Jan. 6 rioters sought to disrupt the electoral-vote certification for the 2020 presidential election, while the 2020 protests, some of which devolved into looting and rioting, were sparked by the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

“DOJ’s apparent unwillingness to punish individuals who committed crimes during the spring and summer 2020 protests stands in stark contrast to the treatment of the individuals charged in connection with the breach of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.,” said Tuesday’s letter from the 11 House members. 

“Whether it is a mob breaking laws in D.C. or a mob in Portland or Minneapolis, the standard of justice should be the same in America,” they wrote.

The other 10 House Republicans on the Tuesday letter were Reps. Andy Biggs, Andrew Clyde, Jeff Duncan, Bob Good, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Louie Gohmert, Jody Hice, Thomas Massie, Ralph Norman and W. Gregory Steube.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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