A massive sentence was just handed down by U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly.
Kelly, a Donald Trump appointee, tagged Joe Biggs, one of the leaders of the Proud Boys, as a “terrorist,” which enabled him to hand out a much more severe sentence.
Biggs was given 17 years for his role in the January 6 rioting.
Biggs is one of the leaders of the Proud Boys, a right-wing extremist group. He is one of four Proud Boys that was found guilty of a seditious conspiracy.
Of the 1,100 or so cases tied to the rioting on January 6, this is among the stiffest penalties that has been handed out.
The fact that it was handed out by a Trump judge is a significant statement.
Believe it or not, this could have been much worse for Biggs.
Prosecutors were asking for 33 years, but the 17-year sentence is second only to the sentence given to Stewart Rhodes, the leader of another right-wing group called the Oath Keepers. He received 18 years for his role in the rioting.
Judges are clearly making a statement here that they never want to see anything like this again.
With the sentences they are handing out in this case, they will probably get their way.
Kelly, as I noted above, is a Trump appointee, so I think everyone was shocked at the length of this sentence.
Kelly, however, added the terrorist enhancement, which opened up the door to a longer sentence for Biggs.
During the sentencing hearing, Kelly stated:
“I’ve reviewed the evidence of Mr. Biggs’ calculation and deliberation in taking down that fence.
“When that fence came down it facilitated the mob in overwhelming law enforcement, entering the Capitol and eventually halting the proceedings.”
Biggs’ attorney was beside himself over the fact this is what led Kelly to designate Biggs as a terrorist.
“What happened here? A $32,000 fence was an obstacle to the Capitol.
“No serious person here will argue destroying the fence was meant to influence government. It was a means to an end.”
“What happened on Jan. 6 harmed an important American custom that helps support the rule of law and the Constitution.
“That day broke our tradition of peacefully transferring power which is among the most precious things that we had as Americans. Notice I said had. We don’t have it anymore.”
Again, not defending what happened that day, but was Joe Biden prevented from taking office?
Let me say this again… I think what happened on January 6 was embarrassing as a conservative, but I also firmly believe an extremist mentality has taken over regarding the actions of these people.
The fact of the matter is that we have never seen conservatives act like this before on a major scale such as this, and it scared the hell out of Democrats that conservatives were finally fighting back using the game plan that liberals have been using for years. It scared the hell out of them, which is why we are seeing these massive penalties being handed down.
Biggs was apologetic at the sentencing hearing.
He told the court:
“I apologize for my rhetoric.”
Biggs then added some context that he was having some family issues at the time, as his daughter had been molested by a family member, and this was his way of dealing with things.
“I’m so sorry. … I’m not a terrorist, I don’t have hate in my heart.”
“I’m done with it. I’m sick and tired of left versus right.”
I am not excusing what anyone did that day, but the American people will have to decide if judges are turning into activists here and handing out sentences that are above the norm.
The general mindset of conservatives is that "we are better than this," but that so-called belief or mindset broke down that day.
I don't believe we can ever allow anything like that to happen again, but at the same time, I also believe our leadership is allowing the party to be rolled over right now.
The way to fix that is to remove failed leadership and elect people who will represent the citizens of this country, not their private interests.
January 6 was bad for conservatives, but it was also a product of years of frustration... but that is where we and our votes come in to play.