Violent MAGA rioters cleared to travel for holidays like they committed ‘ho-hum crimes’: legal analyst
Rioters clash with police trying to enter Capitol building through the front doors. (lev radin /

At least one legal observer is crying foul after federal judges cleared several MAGA rioters — including some accused of assaulting police — to travel during the holidays to see family members.

"The treatment of many of the 700 people charged so far with crimes stemming from the Capitol siege has been criticized by some as too lenient for people who allegedly attempted to forcibly overthrow an election," Bloomberg News reported Tuesday. "Prosecutors had a hard time keeping many of them behind bars pending trial, with judges instead granting home confinement with GPS monitoring. Kimberly Wehle, a former federal prosecutor in Washington who has been closely watching the Jan. 6 cases, said the treatment of many of the defendants sends the message 'that these are ho-hum crimes.'"

Wehle, a professor at the University of Baltimore, told Bloomberg News: “How many people in U.S. jails and prisons — disproportionately men of color, and some for low-level non-violent offenses — enjoy Christmas at home? To state the question is to answer it: It doesn’t happen.”

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Bloomberg reported that MAGA rioters cleared to travel include Federico Klein, a former Trump appointee in the State Department, who requested permission to visit his brother on Christmas Eve. Prosecutors didn't challenge the request from Klein, who is accused of attacking police with a riot shield.

Department of Justice attorneys also did not challenge a request from Thomas Caldwell, who allegedly conspired with members of the Oath Keepers to storm the Capitol, to attend a party with his neighbors on Christmas. Among other things, Caldwell purchased a gun that looked like a cell phone prior to the insurrection.

And the list goes on.

"Donovan Crowl, a former Marine who stormed the Capitol with the right-wing Oath Keepers militia group while wearing a combat helmet and ballistic goggles, asked to spend Christmas and New Year’s with his sister," Bloomberg News reports. "Christopher Grider, a Texas wine-maker who allegedly helped shatter a window leading to the House chamber, asked to leave his multi-acre property in central Texas to visit family in Houston and Dallas this week. Both requests were granted."

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