Judge Questions Why Prosecutors Aren’t More Aggressive With Jan. 6 Insurrectionists

Police hold back supporters of President Donald Trump as they gather outside the US Capitol's Rotunda on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
|
August 10, 2021 11:10 a.m.

Federal Judge Beryl Howell on Monday challenged the feds on what she suggested to be their too-soft handling of some Jan. 6 insurrectionist cases.

During a hearing of one of the insurrectionists who was pleading guilty to a misdemeanor, Howell questioned why prosecutors were seeking only a total of $1.5 million in fines from the insurrectionists when Congress had shelled out $521 million in taxpayer funds to the National Guard in wake of the attack.

“I’m accustomed to the government being fairly aggressive in terms of fraud when there have been damages that accrue from a criminal act for the restitution amount,” Howell said, per the Washington Post.

“Where we have Congress acting, appropriating all this money due directly to the events of January 6th, I have found the damage amount of less than $1.5 million — when all of us American taxpayers are about to foot the bill for close to half a billion dollars — a little bit surprising,” the judge added.

Newsletters
Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Howell asked Clayton O’Connor, the prosecutor at the center of the hearing she was overseeing on Monday, for an explanation for those figures, according to Politico.

“I’m happy to get you that answer,” O’Connor told the judge.

Howell also expressed skepticism toward the distinction prosecutors have been making between insurrectionists who proudly broadcasted their involvement in the attack and those who didn’t, per Politico.

Latest News
Comments are now Members-Only

Non-members are still able to read comments, but will no longer be able to participate. To join the conversation, sign up now and get:

30% Off Annual Prime Membership

TPM strives to build as inclusive a community as financially possible. We offer FREE memberships to those experiencing financial hardship and FREE memberships for students.

View all options
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Audience Development Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: