Judge goes off on GOP leaders during Jan. 6 trial for being afraid to stand up to Trump
Trump supporters rioting at the US Capitol. (Shutterstock.com)

On Wednesday, POLITICO reported that one of the key judges overseeing the trials of January 6 defendants took aim at Republican leaders who have helped encourage former President Donald Trump's lies about the election, out of political expediency.

"U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said former President Donald Trump had turned his lies about the election into a litmus test for Republican candidates and that 'high-ranking members of Congress and state officials' are 'so afraid of losing their power' that they won’t contradict him," reported Kyle Cheney. "That fealty, she said, comes even as law enforcement and judges involved in cases related to the former president are facing unprecedented threats of violence."

"In addition, Jackson said, Trump and his allies are using rhetoric about the multiple criminal probes connected to Trump that contain dangerous undertones," noted the report. "'Some prominent figures in the Republican Party … are cagily predicting or even outright calling for violence in the streets if one of the multiple investigations doesn’t go his way,' Jackson said."

Jackson made these pronouncements at the sentencing hearing for Kyle Young, who held former D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone while another rioter assaulted him with his own stun gun.

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Young, who brought his 16-year-old son to the attack, has said that he "broke down crying" after that assault. Multiple relatives of Young's, however, have lashed out at Fanone and called him a "piece of sh*t" — including at one point in the courtroom itself.

"[Jackson is] not the first federal judge to rebuke Trump in the context of Jan. 6 riot prosecutions," noted the report. "Judge Amit Mehta lamented that many of the low-level rioters were duped by powerful figures, including Trump, into marching on the Capitol, only to suffer criminal consequences as a result. Judge Reggie Walton called Trump a 'charlatan' for his conduct related to the election. And a federal judge in California, David Carter, determined that Trump’s actions related to Jan. 6 likely amounted to a criminal conspiracy to subvert the election."