The January 6 Witch Hunt Kills a Good Man

If you enquire with anyone — even those who follow right-leaning media such as Fox News — about Matthew Perna, the response will likely be ignorance.

This is nothing short of tragic.  Even more tragic is the unspeakable suffering Perna endured at the hands of the imposing state that left him despondent, disheartened, and dispirited, such that he resorted to suicide as his path to peace.

What was his crime?

Before we go there, a bit about his background.

In a poignant obituary, his family lovingly described Matt's life.

Matt was 37 years old.  He graduated from Sharpsville High School in 2002, then from Penn State University. 

Matt traveled extensively all over the world, making lasting friendships.  He loved trying different cuisines and experiencing as many different cultures as he could.  He had stints in Southeast Asia teaching English to schoolchildren. 

Matt enjoyed running long-distance races and held medals from several states.  He enjoyed reading and had an extensive library.  He loved various kinds of music.  Matt loved animals, even nurturing a sickly kitten back to health.

Matt is survived by his loving family and had a special bond with his departed grandfather.

Matt was what liberals try to portray themselves as.

On January 6, 2021, Matt drove to Washington to attend President Donald Trump's rally.

The objective was to show solidarity with his president and to express concerns about electoral malpractice.  In a democracy, every citizen has a right to protest.

Author Julie Kelly, who wrote the book January 6: How Democrats Used the Capitol Protest to Launch a War on Terror Against the Political Right, followed Matt's case closely.

After Trump's speech, Matt, wearing his "MAGA" sweatshirt, marched to Capitol Hill and "walked through an open door on the Senate side of the building shortly before 3 P.M. that afternoon.  Capitol Police, shown in surveillance video, stood by as hundreds of protesters entered the Capitol."

Matt did not assault anyone or carry a weapon or vandalize property or steal anything.  He just ambled around the building left after 20 minutes.

Immediately after the protests, Biden, Harris, Pelosi, FBI director Wray, Attorney General Garland, and news media engaged in a sustained demonization campaign that consisted of overstatements and fabrications.

The protest was compared to the Oklahoma City bombing, the 9/11 Islamic terror attacks, and Pearl Harbor.  The protesters were called domestic terrorists, insurrectionists, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis.

Two weeks after the protest, Matt discovered "his image on the FBI's most-wanted list" for the January 6 "riots".  As a law-abiding citizen, Matt immediately contacted his local FBI office and voluntarily submitted to questioning.  Yes, on January 18, six FBI agents arrested Perna at his home.

From that juncture, Perna found himself trapped in a nightmarish, Kafkaesque maze.

By February 2021, Perna was indicted by a grand jury on four counts including obstruction of an official proceeding and trespassing misdemeanors.  Based on his lawyer's advice, Perna pleaded guilty to all four counts.  Since he had no prior criminal record, he expected to receive a light prison sentence.

However, the powers that be had other plans.

Matthew Graves, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, sought a lengthy prison sentence for Matt following his guilty plea.  If Graves had had his way, Matt would have faced 57 to 71 months in prison.

Graves asked for draconian sentencing knowing that judges on the D.C. District Court had allowed the Justice Department to file baseless charges, such as the obstruction of an official proceeding felony, and even had authorized pretrial detention for the accused.

Owing to the climate of fear and concerns of not receiving a fair trial in a city that voted almost 94 percent against Trump in 2020, many January 6 defendants such as Matt accepted a plea offer.

After more than a year of public humiliation and being subjected to torture through the labyrinthine legal system, Matt saw no way out.  On Feb 25, 2022, he hanged himself in his garage.  In reality, it was the legal system that strangled him.

Kelly asked Graves's office for comment on Matt's passing.  "We typically do not comment on cases or investigations beyond what has been filed or stated in Court and have no  comment."

A fair legal system in a republic would sentence Matt to a few months of community service, which, given his charitable nature, he would have willingly performed.

But instead, the Washington establishment, hell-bent on destroying President Trump and his MAGA movement, and silencing their political opponents, used the likes of Matt as pawns in their ugly campaign of vengeance.

What a heartbreaking ending to a kind, gentle, passionate, and talented soul and a patriot.  There was so much to live for and so much he could have achieved.  He would have brought joy to so many.

Alas, all that is left are his memories.  Sadly, even his memories will not be spared by his persecutors.  In reports of his death, Matt is referred to as a rioter, and they mention him pleading guilty without any context. 

These are the same people who eulogized George Floyd, who, between 1997 and 2005, was convicted of eight crimes and served four years in prison for aggravated robbery in a home invasion.  They also express undying support BLM rioters, arsonists, and looters.

With Matt's passing, the powers that be in Washington and the media have blood on their hands.

These are the kind of abhorrent occurrences that are frequent under totalitarian regimes.  It is nothing short of shocking that this occurred in one of the world's largest republics, where protests, irrespective of the cause, are a fundamental right.

It is also unfortunate that the GOP has opted to be relatively silent or is siding with the tormentors of Matt and the January 6 protesters.

The situation is critical for the January 6 protesters, many of whom have been languishing in prison for over a year, awaiting trial.

The GOP can begin by setting up a legal fund in the name of Matthew Perna that will finance proper legal assistance along with medical and psychological support for all the January 6 protesters.  Perhaps they can donate a percentage of the donations they receive.

The Republicans cannot afford to wait until they win the midterms to bring about changes, or else there may be many more such unfortunate occurrences.  The GOP needs to make a great deal of noise about those unfairly jailed.  All right-leaning media outlets need to be talking about this every day without exception.

All citizens need to be writing about this to their governors, senators, and representatives, and on social media.  Remain silent now, and these citizens may suffer the same fate as Matt.

If allies do not help at this juncture, they are not worthy of being called allies.

The best tribute to Matt is to ensure that no other citizens engaging in their democratic rights to protest ever face such an unfortunate fate.

Image via Max Pixel.

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