January 6 and the Weaponization of the Department of Justice

Most of the people who entered the Capitol on January 6 did only that: they entered the Capitol. They walked around and then left. But Matthew Graves, the US attorney for the District of Columbia, is determined to destroy their lives anyway. 

Matthew Perna’s family: “the justice system killed his spirit and his zest for life.” Source.

Matthew Perna was a graduate of Pennsylvania State University. He spent time traveling in Asia, Europe, India, and South America. He died at 37 years of age, hanging himself in his garage.

Perna plead guilty to charges stemming from the attack on the Capitol on January 6. Graves who prosecuted his case, argued for extending the time Perna would spend in prison. Prison. For what? Entering the Capitol building and hanging inside for about 20 minutes taking video of the crowd. Prison. For that.

While the homicide rate—including for children—is skyrocketing in Washington DC, all Graves is interested in is arresting nonviolent misdemeanants with disagreeable politics. And Graves is promising another 1000 arrests. He is expanding the net of those who can be so targeted from those who entered the Capitol to those who were outside the Capitol a certain distance from the building. 

Graves is the authoritarian asshole who, to placate progressives complaining about why there weren’t more convictions, dusted off a Civil War era law, namely “seditious conspiracy,” a ridiculous charge that was laughed out of court on the rare cases where a prosecutor was desperate enough to bring it, and managed to get a few politically-motivated convictions against the Proud Boys, a goof created by a provocative comedian named Gavin McInnes.

That people find January 6 so serious tells you that they are not serious people. At least they don’t think you are. 

Published by

Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin is on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers.

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