By Julie Kelly
Matthew Graves wasted no time doing the political dirty work of the man who appointed him to serve as the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia: Joe Biden.
The Biden regime, Attorney General Merrick Garland in particular, faced heat in late 2021 for failing to bring harsher charges against Americans who protested Biden’s election on January 6. Garland was on the defensive for seeking mostly misdemeanor charges, giving the Right ammunition to mock the media’s description of the four-hour disturbance as an “insurrection.”
Enter Graves, the man responsible for prosecuting every January 6 case.
Shortly after taking the reins of the powerful office, Graves charged 11 members or affiliates of the Oath Keepers, including founder Stewart Rhodes, with seditious conspiracy, the most serious charge brought by the Justice Department in the unprecedented criminal investigation. Created during the Civil War as an alternative to treason to punish supporters of the Confederacy, seditious conspiracy is tantamount to waging war against the United States government.
Graves’ indictment not only broke new legal ground to criminalize political speech but lent credence to Biden’s claims made during his speech on the afternoon of January 6 that what was happening at the Capitol “border[ed] on sedition.” Garland’s office announced the indictment in a lengthy press release on January 13, 2022 to great fanfare. Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin awarded Garland with her “distinguished pol of the week” prize for “dramatically ratchet[ing] up the investigation.”
Considering a federal judge tossed the exceedingly rare charge out of court in 2010, the last time the government attempted to prosecute Americans for seditious conspiracy, one might assume the Justice Department would have an uphill battle to make the indictments stick. In fact, prosecutors recently admitted that only a “handful” of individuals, all tied to Islamic terror cells including al-Qaeda and the Taliban, have been convicted of seditious conspiracy in the past several decades. For example, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and nine others were charged and convicted of seditious conspiracy for the 1993 World Trade Center bombings that left six dead and more than 1,000 injured.
How could the charge apply to U.S. citizens who merely entered a government building—Rhodes and one other defendant, incidentally, never went inside—carried no weapons, assaulted no one, and vandalized no property? How would an individual “wage war” against the United States by posting inflammatory text messages and videos?
Those questions, however, did not concern Judge Amit Mehta, appointed to the D.C. District Court by Barack Obama in 2014. Mehta is overseeing a majority of the most consequential January 6 cases including a civil suit filed by Democratic members of Congress against Donald Trump, the Oath Keepers, and the Proud Boys seeking damages for the events of January 6.
Mehta refused to delay the Oath Keepers’ high-profile criminal trial even as jury selection and proceedings coincided with televised hearings of the January 6 committee, which repeatedly blamed the Oath Keepers for initiating the “attack” on the Capitol. Voir dire, Mehta insisted as he also denied change of venue motions, would weed out biased jurors. He has handed down the harshest sentences to date.
And on Thursday, he issued the longest prison term yet for a January 6 defendant; Mehta sentenced Rhodes to 18 years in prison.
Mehta also became the first judge in U.S. history to add a terrorism enhancement to the prison sentence of an American citizen convicted of seditious conspiracy, “one of the most serious offenses any American can commit,” Mehta told Rhodes prior to announcing the groundbreaking judgment in the E. Barrett Prettyman federal courthouse on Thursday. Graves’ office is seeking terrorism sentencing enhancements for eight more Oath Keepers, including five convicted of seditious conspiracy.
Mehta took his time berating Rhodes. “You, sir, present an ongoing threat and a peril to this country, to the republic and to the very fabric of our democracy. You are smart, you are compelling, and you are charismatic. Frankly, that is what makes you dangerous.”
But Stewart Rhodes and the Oath Keepers are not a “threat” to the country or a “peril” to the “fabric of our democracy,” whatever that dramatic nonsense means. They are not “dangerous”—they are powerless, bankrupt, broken, isolated, and ruined for life. They traveled to the nation’s capital to protest an election that by every measure was rigged to favor Joe Biden.
No, the real threat are people like Matthew Graves and Amit Mehta—arrogant, unaccountable apparatchiks of a bloodthirsty regime hellbent on crushing political dissent in America. Wrongthink punished, federal law bastardized, evidence manufactured from harmless group chats, presumption of innocence flipped on its head, due process denied, the Bill of Rights buried under a mountain of political revenge.