(USA Features) Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley criticized the Justice Department in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland over what he sees as discrepancies between the way right-wing and left-wing rioters are being treated.
“I write to you to again express my concern that the Department of Justice is not treating all forms of domestic extremism equally,” Grassley began his letter, which is dated June 2.
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“This concern will not be new to you. On February 2, 2021, I wrote to ask about the Department’s preparations for the 2020 riots. The scale of the riots that year was enormous and unprecedented. A Princeton study found over 500 unique riots occurred that year,” the letter continued.
“Fourteen thousand people were arrested in 49 cities. Hundreds if not thousands of police officers were injured. This included hundreds of injuries at a months-long violent siege of the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon, as well as dozens of injuries in an attack on the White House in Washington, D.C. Over 400 domestic extremism investigations were opened, a 40% increase in the FBI’s domestic terrorism caseload in a single year,” added Grassley.
The Iowa Republican added that he had written to Garland in early May expressing concerns about “an anarchist extremist plot targeting police officers.”
“I share the concerns of former Attorney General Bill Barr and former Acting Secretary for Homeland Security Chad Wolf that the federal government appears to have robust capabilities in targeting militia extremists and white supremacists, but very little capability in fighting anarchist extremism,” Grassley wrote.
“As a result of this lack of historical expertise and collection, opportunities to investigate criminal conspiracies such as the one I highlighted in my May letter are often missed.”
“While the Department of Justice under your leadership spares no effort to prosecute every offense including misdemeanors and trespass if associated with the Capitol breach, which I find no fault with, the same cannot be said of the hundreds of riots that occurred in 2020. Indeed, according to reporting, prosecutors handling federal felony cases in Portland have approved deferred resolution agreements instead of prosecuting the cases,” Grassley continued.
“This leniency is distinct from the aggressive prosecution of January 6 related crimes. The law must be applied equally without regard to party, power or privilege,” he noted.
It’s not clear if Garland has responded.