McConnell scorches DOJ over lenient sentence for Minnesota arsonist


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Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell issued a scathing letter Tuesday accusing the Justice Division of taking a “startling turn for the worse” below the Biden administration and injecting left-wing political bias into its therapy of violent criminals.

In a letter to the DOJ and Andrew Luger, President Biden’s nominee for Minnesota’s highest-ranking federal prosecutor, McConnell, R-Ky., blasted the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace for searching for lowered sentences for rioters arrested throughout the 2020 George Floyd protests. One such particular person was Montez Terriel Lee Jr., who was convicted of the arson of a pawn store that resulted within the demise of a person. Lee was sentenced to 10 years in jail.


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell walks to the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 18, 2022.

Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell walks to the Senate flooring on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 18, 2022.
(Eric Lee/Bloomberg through Getty Pictures)

“Political violence is a cancer in free societies,” McConnell wrote. “To use a parallel example, it would seem almost insane to argue that a criminal who assaulted the United States Capitol on January 6th, 2021, with the explicit intention of obstructing Congress’ constitutional duties, should receive a lesser sentence than somebody else who trespassed on federal property at a different time just because he could. 

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“However within the case of Mr. Lee, the performing U.S. lawyer in Minnesota appears to have reached the weird conclusion that his radical political motives one way or the other excuse, relatively than exacerbate, his wrongdoing,” he continued. “It’s critically vital for lawful authority to discourage those that would intimidate their political opponents via violence or its threats. It’s due to this fact stunning that the previous performing U.S. lawyer in Minnesota noticed issues in a different way, presumably as a result of he bears some sympathy for the trigger Mr. Lee violently supported. That’s unacceptable.”

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., issued a similar letter Tuesday to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding answers on Lee’s prosecution.

“Displaying leniency towards a profession legal who dedicated homicide is dangerous sufficient,” Cotton wrote. “However justifying the homicide as a result of the profession legal shares the Biden administration’s politics is past the pale. The American individuals need to know whether or not leniency for left-wing murderers is the official coverage of the Biden Division of Justice, or whether or not this travesty was a one-off…”

Sen. Tom Cotton speaks during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Sept. 28, 2021. 

Sen. Tom Cotton speaks throughout a Senate Armed Companies Committee listening to on Capitol Hill on Sept. 28, 2021. 
(Patrick Semansky)

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., despatched an identical letter to Garland final week, noting that the DOJ mentioned in a court filing earlier than Lee’s sentencing that the violent protests have been a method for women and men to specific themselves.

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“There appear … to have been many people who felt angry, frustrated and disenfranchised, and who were attempting, in many cases in an unacceptably reckless and dangerous manner, to give voice to those feelings. Mr. Lee appears to be squarely in this latter category,” the DOJ’s submitting said. “And even the great American advocate for nonviolence and social justice, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., stated in an interview with CBS’ Mike Wallace in 1966 that ‘we’ve got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard.’

“In gentle of those circumstances, the evaluation of the [sentencing] pointers doesn’t seem applicable,” DOJ concluded. The department asked for a “downward variance” of 12 years for Lee, much lower than the sentencing guidelines of up to 20 years.

Sen. Josh Hawley makes a point during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Sept. 29, 2021.

Sen. Josh Hawley makes a degree throughout a Senate Judiciary Committee listening to on Capitol Hill on Sept. 29, 2021.
(Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Pictures)

Hawley mentioned the DOJ’s findings make it evident that “the toxic ideology of critical race theory has spread through the Department.”

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“While you treat persons charged with petty offenses from the January 6 riot as hardened criminals, now even the most heinous offenses can be treated leniently, as long as the perpetrator is of the correct race and the crime can be connected to some progressive cause célèbre,” the senator wrote.

The DOJ didn’t instantly reply to Each day Put up Digital’s request for remark.

Each day Put up’ Timothy Nerozzi and Kelly Laco contributed reporting.


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