Trump supporter gets harsher sentence than DOJ recommended after making 'offensive' argument to judge
A judge on Thursday slapped a Trump supporter with a harsher sentence than what the Department of Justice asked for after making what the judge described as an "offensive" argument.
BuzzFeed News reports that Troy Smocks, a Black Trump supporter who encouraged his fellow Trump fans to "prepare our weapons" and "go hunting" for Democrats on right-wing social media website Parler, was sentenced to 14 months in prison by US District Judge Tanya Chutkan.
Smocks tried to argue to Chutkan, who is also Black, that he is being treated unfairly due to the color of his skin.
"Smocks told Chutkan that he believed he had been treated more harshly than white Trump supporters who were charged with misdemeanor crimes for going into the Capitol," writes BuzzFeed. "He claimed to be the only Black person charged in connection with Jan. 6 to face pretrial detention, but Chutkan noted that wasn't true."
Smocks travelled to Washington D.C. on January 6th but was not charged with taking part in the Capitol riots.
Smocks then compared himself to civil rights protesters in the 1960s who were arrested for protesting against segregation -- and at this point, Chutkan stepped in and said his arguments were "offensive."
"People died fighting for civil rights, people were gassed, they were beaten, they were tortured mentally and physically," Chutkan told him. "For you to hold yourself up as a soldier in that fight is really quite audacious."
'I was disgusted and furious!' Marjorie Taylor Greene melts down over criminal referral for Steve Bannon
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Thursday appeared on Steve Bannon's podcast to rage against the House of Representatives voting to refer criminal charges against him to the United States Department of Justice.
Greene began by recapping the House vote in which 229 representatives voted to hold Bannon in criminal contempt for defying subpoenas.
"Here they are, celebrating voting to hold an innocent American in criminal contempt!" Greene fumed.
Greene then explained how, after the vote took place, she confronted Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD) for supposedly lying about Bannon being involved in organizing the January 6th Capitol riots.
They lied about you, they lied about President Trump and I was disgusted and furious!" she said. "So I yelled at them on the House floor! I let Liz Cheney have it, I let Adam Schiff have it, I let Raskin have it! I couldn't contain myself -- I said you people are a joke!"
She then went off on a rant about riots that occurred in the summer of 2020 during protests against police brutality in the wake of George Floyd's killing.
Watch the video below.
'I was disgusted and furious!' Marjorie Taylor Greene melts down on Steve Bannon's show www.youtube.com
DOJ adds new prosecutors for Matt Gaetz case who specialize in breaking through 'psychological manipulation': report
In an apparent sign of sign of "the complex and high-stakes nature of the inquiry" into whether Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz sex-trafficked a minor, the Department of Justice has added two high-level prosecutors from Washington to the case.
The Washington-based prosecutors recently joined a team of authorities in Florida who've been looking into whether Gaetz violated federal law by providing goods or payments to a 17-year-old girl in exchange for sex, the New York Times reported Thursday.
Gaetz has not yet been charged and has denied wrongdoing. His alleged "wingman," former tax collector Joel Greenberg, pleaded guilty to sex trafficking the same 17-year-old girl, and is cooperating with the DOJ's investigation.
According to the Times, the Washington prosecutors' expertise includes "dealing with children who have been exploited but may not see themselves as having been victimized, which can complicate trials if they are called as witnesses."
Amanda Kramer, a former federal prosecutor in Manhattan who supervised sex trafficking cases for a decade, told the Times that legally, the victim's state of mind is not a factor juries should consider when determining whether laws were violated.
"Technically, the government needs only to prove that the child was underage when the sexual activity occurred and that the child received something of value in exchange for it," the Times reports. "But, Ms. Kramer said, the defense could try to use such witness testimony to confuse the jury or sour the legitimacy of the prosecution, although many judges would most likely shut down such a line of questioning."
Kramer told the NYT: "It's not uncommon for teens who have been trafficked to view themselves as willing participants and not as victims, often as a result of psychological manipulation by their traffickers. That's one of many dynamics that make sex trafficking cases challenging for prosecutors, but it's far from fatal to the case."
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