According to a report from Politico, the chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia urged prosecutors to dangle more lenient sentences in front of Jan. 6 Capitol insurrectionists if they assist investigators looking into the riot.
That, in turn, led a U.S. attorney to push back.
The report states that influential Chief Judge Beryl Howell made the case for giving investigators a helping hand on Friday.
“I think that that kind of cooperation is helpful to this country and is helpful to making amends for what occurred on Jan. 6,” Howell stated, “to the extent that that House select committee is able to be successful.”
The judge's comments came in response to an attorney, Eugene Ohm, representing Robert Schnorak, stating the Department of Justice's refusal to deal was a mistake, telling the court, "That doesn’t seem like a wise position for the United States to take.”
Politico reports, "The exchange between Howell and Ohm came after a Justice Department prosecutor suggested Schornak’s extensive cooperation with the select committee, detailed in recent court filings, should not result in a more lenient sentence. Schnorak, who pleaded guilty in November to breaching the Capitol — where he stole an American flag and posed for selfies with fellow rioters — testified to the Jan. 6 select committee twice in January, answering 'dozens of questions,' according to Ohm."
According to the report, "At his sentencing hearing Friday, Howell pressed prosecutors to say whether Schornak should get a lighter sentence because of his cooperation with congressional investigators," with prosecutors arguing the defendant has not shown any remorse for his Jan 6th actions, which was why they were balking.
“I don’t think it’s something that should be given great weight,” U.S. Attorney Anita Eve explained. “We are not treating that in the same way that someone would be treated if they cooperated in a federal investigation.”