The Washington Examiner has transcripts of the Department of Justice’s closing remarks in their case against six protesters and one journalist for their participation in Inauguration Day protests. We all realize that the right wing of our country is working diligently to squash all dissent, even if that means trampling on the Bill of Rights. But Sessions’s DOJ isn’t even pretending that they are trying to prosecute vandalism and violence. They’re attacking people for protesting.
During closing arguments Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Rizwan Qureshi offered no evidence that the six committed acts of violence or vandalism, or attended planning meetings for an anti-capitalism march that ended in the arrest of about 240 people in downtown Washington.
If you aren’t going to provide evidence or even argue that these individuals did something actually illegal (destroying private property for example), what is it exactly that you are arguing.
Instead, Qureshi likened the defendants to robbery get-away drivers, guilty because they helped anonymize others in a crowd.
“That’s exactly what this sea of black was, it was the getaway car,” he said.
That “sea of black,” is supposed to reference the black outfits that some protesters wear. But, guess what? That argument will work for skin color as well—because it’s a completely unconstitutional attack on our rights to assemble and protest as Americans. But the arguments Qureshi made during the trial were equally odious. Brittne Lawson and Michelle Macchio argued that they—besides not wearing black—served as medics to people that had been hurt.
“Ms. Lawson was prepared for war and she was going to make it succeed,” Qureshi said, saying she planned “to mend them and get them up on their way.”
“What do you need a medic with gauze for? I thought this was a protest,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with being a medic, but she was aware there was a riot going on.”
Ummmm. Wow. Considering that the DOJ isn’t interested in the never-ending stream of Second Amendment lunatics carrying GUNS to protests, this line of arguing is not simply transparent in its partisanship, it’s fucking insane. Deliberations are supposed to take place on Thursday and into Friday. I will try to update if anything gets decided.