Sen. Hawley accuses DOJ of ‘far-left politicking’ by asking for a diminished sentence for violent rioter

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FIRST ON Daily Post: Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., despatched a scathing letter Wednesday to Legal professional Basic Merrick Garland, accusing him of displaying undue and improper leniency for violent criminals. 

Within the memo, Hawley blasts Garland for asking for diminished sentences for rioters arrested in the course of the protests of 2020 over the dying of George Floyd, particularly referring to the case of Montez Terriel Lee Jr., who was convicted of the arson of a pawn store that resulted within the dying of a person.

“The riots of 2020 caused dozens of deaths and destroyed billions of dollars’ worth of property. It is imperative that those who committed crimes be held accountable,” Hawley opened the letter to the legal professional common. “And yet your Department of Justice is apparently determined to do the opposite.

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Sen. Joshua Hawley speaks during a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on Oct. 12, 2020.

Sen. Joshua Hawley speaks throughout a affirmation listening to for Supreme Court docket nominee Amy Coney Barrett earlier than the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on Oct. 12, 2020.
(Susan Walsh/Getty Photos)

“As the Department acknowledged, on May 28, Lee broke into the Max It Pawn Shop and poured fire accelerant throughout the store. As the pawnshop burned, Lee proclaimed, ‘F*** this place. We’re gonna burn this b**ch down.’ Lee then moved off with a group of other men, talking about the restaurants they planned to ‘hit’ next.”

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The Division of Justice (DOJ) did acknowledge such habits from Lee, and he was sentenced to 10 years in jail “for the arson of a Minneapolis pawn shop that resulted in the death of a man.”

Nonetheless, Hawley factors out that DOJ stated in court filing earlier than Lee’s sentencing that the violent protests had been a approach for upset women and men to precise themselves.

“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.’

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“In mild 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.

Hawley questioned the motivations of DOJ in showing leniency on Lee – especially when the facts of the case suggest the vandalism and arson most likely killed another person.

“However Lee didn’t simply destroy property. The physique of 30-year-old Oscar Lee Stewart was discovered within the rubble of the pawn store, and medical experts attributed his dying to ‘probable inhalation of products of combustion and thermal injury (building fire).’ Lee’s informal violence, briefly, killed Mr. Stewart,” Hawley said in the letter to Garland.

Sen. Josh Hawley speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing examining Texas' abortion law on Capitol Hill on Sept. 29, 2021.

Sen. Josh Hawley speaks throughout a Senate Judiciary Committee listening to analyzing Texas’ abortion regulation on Capitol Hill on Sept. 29, 2021.
(Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Photos)

“What this position statement makes clear is that, under your leadership, the toxic ideology of critical race theory has spread through the Department,” Hawley wrote to Garland. 

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The senator concluded, “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.”

On the finish of his letter, Hawley calls for three items of data on the arrest and sentencing of protesters. 

Particularly, Hawley requested a full checklist of circumstances the place legal conduct within the 2020 riots was withheld from regular sentencing, an inventory of circumstances the place leniency was proven resulting from outrage over the dying of George Floyd, and an evidence of the division’s reasoning and authority for these insurance policies.

“Americans deserve equal justice under law, not far-left politicking that makes them less safe,” stated Hawley.

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

Day by day Put up’ Kelly Laco contributed to this report.

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