The Republican presidential candidates must unite in defense of fairness for the Jan. 6 political prisoners — and one another

Just the News reported that Christopher Grider, 41, a participant in the Jan. 6, 2021 protest at the Capitol, has been sentenced by federal judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, a Clinton appointee, to 83 months (almost seven years) in prison, followed by 36 months supervised release, plus restitution and a fine.


Judge Kollar-Kotelly, 80 years old, is a senior judge on the D.C. District Court, appointed by Bill Clinton.  She formerly served on the FISA Court (official court photo).

Here are the opening paragraphs on the report of this vindictive sentence:

"Christopher Grider, 41, of Eddy, Texas, pleaded guilty in December 2022 to two misdemeanors and was found guilty on seven counts related to his actions during the Capitol riot. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly sentenced Grider Tuesday to 83 months in prison followed by 36 months of supervised release and ordered him to pay $5,055 in restitution and an $812 fine, court documents show.

"After entering the Capitol, Grider pressed buttons on a utility box and yelled, "Turn the power off!" prosecutors said. He also waved more rioters into a hallway outside of the House Chamber and then ran to the Speaker's Lobby door, where he pushed on the door and gave his helmet to another rioter, who proceeded to break the door's windows. 

"Grider was seen backing away from the door as people in the crowd yelled, "gun," before a police officer fatally shot Babbitt, officials said. Grider held his phone over a stairway to apparently try and capture a video or pictures of Babbitt as she bled on the floor.

One might fairly infer that this harsh sentence was handed down because Christopher Grider dared try to get images of fatally wounded Ashli Babbitt "as she bled on the [Capitol] floor."

The Grider sentence was disclosed the same day that Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his 2024 candidacy for president, and the day after Sen. Tim Scott declared his candidacy for president.  The concatenation of these events inspired the following thoughts — first, that anyone seeking the 2024 GOP nomination for president pledge to review the sentences of the Jan. 6 political prisoners during his first ten days and, pending pardons, commute every sentence to time served, and repayment of any fines or restitution extracted from these defendants.

Second: All Republican candidates for president in 2024 should sign a petition, no later than July 31, 2023, addressed to House speaker Kevin McCarthy and House Judiciary Committee chairman Jim Jordan urging the House to amend the Former Presidents Protection Act of 2012 to provide that any and all legal proceedings against a former president will be heard only before a federal judge, and in a federal venue satisfactory to the defendant former president.  This amendment will put an end to the spectacle of a former president being hounded, seriatim, by a local attorney, a state attorney, and a special counsel, plus in a biased federal jurisdiction concerning a sexual abuse/defamation matter.

With regard to the matter of denying jurisdiction to local and state officials seeking to embarrass a former president and reining in Justice Department officials to that end, it may be too late to ask that Republicans honor President Reagan's Eleventh Commandment — not to speak ill of one another — but one would hope that the Republican presidential candidates will, at a minimum, not applaud, silently, the retaliatory measures employed by the left against conservative candidates.

In brief, it is time to put teeth into the Former Presidents Protection Act of 2012 — to protect former presidents from rogue local, state, and federal prosecutors who would apply the Beria approach: identify the individual first, then find the crime to destroy him.

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