Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton confronted the deputy attorney general Wednesday over the agency implementing a two-tiered justice system to crack down on political opponents.
During a hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco was pressed about the department exploiting the 2002 Accountability Act to “prosecute hundreds of Americans for their actions on Jan. 6, 2021, on the grounds of the United States Capitol.”
The law passed in the aftermath of Enron’s collapse prohibits actions that “otherwise obstruct, influence, or impede an official proceeding.”
“I want to be clear, I’m not talking here about persons who committed violent acts against law enforcement officers and destroyed property,” Cotton said. The Arkansas senator emphasized the Justice Department was using the law to prosecute individuals who “in some cases, were merely present on the Capitol grounds.”
“Just this week, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing in New York City and it’s been reported that a democratic mob was in the hallway trying to get into the doors and stop that hearing from proceedings,” Cotton added.
“Has your department begun to investigate this effort to obstruct or influence the official proceeding of the House Judiciary Committee in New York City?” Cotton asked.
“I’m not aware of those events,” Monaco said, declining to comment.
“I’m simply asking if the Southern District of New York has stood up a task force to investigate all these people who corruptly influenced and obstructed a proceeding of the House Judiciary Committee,” Cotton said.
Monaco offered another non-answer.
“The men and women of the Justice Department that have been pursuing and bringing the cases of the events that occurred in the Capitol have been doing incredible work,” Monaco said.
Cotton brought up another episode of far-left activists obstructing official government proceedings in Nashville.
“What about in Tennessee, a democratic mob obstructed the Tennessee legislature recently to such a severe extent that the legislature expelled two of its members,” Cotton said. “Is the Department of Justice investigating all those protestors who disrupted the official proceeding of the Tennessee legislature?”
“I’m not aware of any such investigation,” Monaco replied.
Cotton referenced a third case of left-wing intimidation tactics targeting Supreme Court justices. Demonstrators protested outside justices’ homes to coerce judges into protecting abortion.
“These are not criminal masterminds,” Cotton told Monaco. “They broadcast on social media when they were going to be violating the law, and there’s not a single arrest — much less prosecution.”
A Nationwide Issues Survey out last summer conducted by the Trafalgar Group and the Convention of States Action found 4 in 5 Americans see a two-tiered justice system.
The overt politicization of the Justice Department for decades led House Republicans to convene a Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government under the Judiciary Committee chaired by Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan.
The DOJ’s double standards came into full view in August following the unprecedented raid of former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence by 30 plain-clothes FBI agents. Federal law enforcement officials confiscated 15 boxes of allegedly classified material after their search of the 128-room complex, including former First Lady Melania Trump’s wardrobe. The search warrant probing potential violations of the Presidential Records Act was personally approved by Attorney General Merrick Garland, whose Supreme Court nomination was thwarted by Trump’s triumphant 2016 victory.
Americans saw the DOJ demonstrate politicized double standards again this month following the prosecution of a pro-Trump meme creator while an administration nuclear waste expert was slapped on the wrist for luggage theft.
Sam Brinton, President Joe Biden’s allegedly “non-binary” administrator in the Department of Energy, was ordered to pay less than $5,000 in fines for stealing women’s luggage. In contrast, Douglass Mackey faces 10 years in prison for publishing a joke during the 2016 presidential campaign.