In a recent court motion, Joe Biden’s Justice Department changed the official name of its investigation into the protest at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Originally designated the “Capitol breach” probe, the department just replaced “breach” with a more sinister word: siege.
“The ‘Capitol Siege’ refers to the events of January 6, 2021, when thousands of individuals entered the U.S. Capitol and U.S. Capitol grounds without authority, halting the Joint Session and the entire official proceeding of Congress for hours,” Matthew Graves, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, wrote in a footnote to a February 10 filing. Graves commended Capitol and D.C. Metro police for “clear[ing] the Capitol of rioters” that afternoon.
But courtroom rhetoric isn’t the only thing Graves is heating up. The Justice Department has opened a “Capitol Siege Section” in the agency’s criminal division and wants to hire at least 20 more lawyers to help prosecute Americans for any involvement in what happened on January 6. Qualified attorneys will be employed on a temporary basis and could earn as much as $176,000 per year.
“Capitol siege” prosecutors will complement an army of thousands of Justice Department employees, including FBI agents from 56 field offices across the country, handling what Attorney General Merrick Garland warned is the biggest investigation in the department’s history. More than 730 people have been arrested so far—amounting to more than three times the number of federal arrests related to the 2020 “mostly peaceful” riots that lasted for months and resulted in far more death and destruction—and the first major trial of a January 6 defendant starts next week.
As freedom-lovers justifiably recoil at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s crackdown on vaccine mandate protesters, Americans worry the same sort of political retribution could happen here. I’m sorry to report, it already has.
The scenes from Ottawa are matched or surpassed by the images here, including thuggish cops attacking January 6 protesters with mace and explosive devices. The difference? Instead of mounted police trampling a woman, ours merely shot and killed one woman and beat up a few more.
What the Trudeau regime is now unleashing against the truckers and their supporters has been underway in America for more than a year. Using January 6 as a pretext, the Biden regime is brandishing its authority to crush political dissent. Now, it appears Trudeau and his apparatchiks are stealing the U.S. Justice Department’s playbook of power and pain.
The comparisons are stark. Take, for example, the words of Steve Bell, acting chief of the Ottawa police department. He told a reporter over the weekend how the government will hunt down those who stood in defiance of Trudeau’s vaccine mandates.
“If you were involved in this protest, we will actively look to identify you and follow up with financial sanctions and criminal charges, absolutely,” Bell said during a press briefing on February 19. “This investigation will go on for months to come. It has many many different streams from a federal level from a financial level from a provincial licensing level to a criminal code level from a municipal breach of . . . court order level. It will be a time consuming and complicated investigation that will go on for a period of time.”
Bell further promised he would hold accountable “those who took over our streets.”
Rewind to January 12, 2021 and a press conference in our nation’s capital featuring Steven D’Antuono, chief of the D.C. FBI field office, who detailed how federal, state, and local law enforcement planned to capture and charge anyone involved in the four-hour disturbance. After noting that the FBI “doesn’t do easy,” D’Antuono—fresh off executing the apparently FBI-concocted kidnapping plot of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to generate bad pre-election headlines for Donald Trump—warned Americans what was to come.
“This is a 24/7, full bore extensive investigation into what happened that day,” D’Antuono said. “I want to stress that the FBI has a long memory and a broad reach. So even if you’ve left D.C., agents from our local field offices will be knocking on your door if we find out you were part of the criminal activity at the Capitol.”
Except the FBI didn’t knock on doors—it kicked them in. Hundreds of Americans have been awakened before dawn by dozens of armed FBI agents and military-style vehicles to capture even nonviolent protesters. FBI Director Christopher Wray declared January 6 an act of “domestic terrorism” and, as I explain in my new book, aimed government tools reserved to fight foreign terror threats against Americans on the political Right.
After January 6 defendants were hauled off to jail post-arrest, the Justice Department demanded pre-trial detention for at least 100 citizens based on the premise that any participation in January 6 rendered the accused a “domestic terrorist.” Some have languished for over a year in a political prison set aside for January 6 defendants as they await trials that the Justice Department repeatedly delays while it conceals evidence and fabricates certain charges to support the “insurrection” narrative.
Legal fees and job losses have bankrupted families. Banks and online service providers such as Airbnb and DoorDash dropped customers simply for being charged in the January 6 investigation. GoFundMe, as in the case of the Canadian truck convoy, banned fundraising appeals for January 6 families.
Children have turned on their parents. The FBI continues to encourage relatives, co-workers, and neighbors to rat on anyone they know who went to the Capitol on January 6. Big Tech companies work hand-in-hand with the FBI to match cell data with the phone’s owner to help identify more suspects and scour deleted social media accounts to find critical memes of Joe Biden and Democrats to use as evidence in court.
Broken men and women with no other option plead guilty to low-level misdemeanors such as “parading” in the Capitol in an attempt to end their legal torture, only to be sentenced to prison time by judges of both political parties, who then berate them from the bench as if they had committed the most heinous of crimes.
Biden, like Trudeau, refers to protesters as “white supremacists” and Nazis while hiding from his own countrymen.
Access to downtown Ottawa was restricted and Parliament Hill was off limits to Canadian citizens, just as much of the Capitol complex was shut off to Americans for months. In fact, to stoke fear on this side of the border over a potential truck convoy, the Capitol police—the Gestapo of the Democratic Party complete with a new spy unit to target Republican lawmakers—is once again threatening to erect temporary fencing around the Capitol building to create more useful optics for the regime.
The real siege against democracy did not happen on January 6, 2021, despite the Justice Department’s attempt to rebrand its investigation as such. What is happening here, as well as in Canada, is the real siege on political freedom and expression—and the last stand of feckless, hypocritical leaders like Biden and Trudeau who’ve lost the trust of those they were elected to lead.
As Victor Davis Hanson observed in his column Monday, North Americans are watching a “tragicomedy” featuring a cast of “clueless Justin Trudeaus and bumbling Joe Bidens [who] simply cannot fathom why few anymore are listening to them.”
So, like all weak leaders losing their grip on power, they force people to listen the only way they can—by the heel of a boot.