The Department of Justice is looking to fine J6 defendants who fundraise for more than attorneys’ fees. The DOJ is over-charging and over-sentencing them, and the fines in addition aren’t going over well with some of the public.
While many of the people charged never themselves rioted, the DOJ calls them all rioters. They say they don’t want them benefiting from the riot.
The fines right now affect the people accused of the more serious crimes. However, it will send a message to others awaiting trial for lesser charges. Many of the families are destitute and are not profiting, just surviving.
An Associated Press review of court records shows that prosecutors in the more than 1,000 criminal cases from Jan. 6, 2021, are increasingly asking judges to impose fines on top of prison sentences to offset donations from supporters of the Capitol rioters.
The DOJ says they can fundraise for lawyers and court costs, but not to profit personally.
Some rioters receive government lawyers, and the DOJ says if the government is paying for the attorneys, the defendants are profiting from a criminal act.
The DOJ went after a Texas man named Daniel Goodwyn, who collected $25,000 for himself and other prisoners. He was on Tucker Carlson Tonight when it existed and told people the name of the website where they could donate.
The DOJ wants the money. Goodwyn is one of the J6 defendants who will be sentenced this month. His defense lawyer, Carolyn Stewart, described prosecutors as “demanding blood from a stone, ” asking for the $25,000 fine.
“He received that amount in charity to help him in his debt for legal fees for former attorneys and this for unknown reasons is bothersome to the government,” Stewart wrote.
Not every judge imposes fines.
Prosecutors sought a more than $70,000 fine for Peter Schwartz, a Kentucky man who threw a folding chair at the police outside the Capitol and repeatedly pepper sprayed them. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta sentenced Schwartz this month to more than 14 years in prison — one of the longest so far in a Capitol riot case — but didn’t impose a fine.
The DOJ wanted him to serve 24 years in prison, but the judge gave him 14 years. He’s 49 years of age. His wife was given a two-year sentence for her actions that day.
Prosecutors suspect Schwartz tried to profit from his fundraising campaign, “Patriot Pete Political Prisoner in DC.” But his lawyer, Dennis Boyle, said there is no evidence of that.
The judge “basically said that if the money was being used for attorneys’ fees or other costs like that, there was no basis for a fine,” Boyle said.
If Mr. Goodwyn has to give up the money, it should go back to the donors, not to the DOJ.
It seems vindictive of the DOJ after demanding extremely long sentences when murderers sentenced in the federal DC court get 11 years.
Both Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis said they would pardon some of the prisoners if elected President.
The biggest problem in these prosecutions is the two-tiered justice system. Antifa and Black Lives Matter caused more than $2 billion in damages, people were killed, and far more officers were injured. Almost all went unpunished, and the overwhelming majority had their records expunged.