The Elijah Barrett Prettyman Courthouse in Washington, D.C. is center stage this month to two competing tales of stolen presidential elections.
In the courtroom of U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Cooper, federal prosecutors have presented a detailed account of the greatest scandal in U.S. political history: the conspiracy of the country’s most powerful interests to fabricate the Trump-Russia collusion hoax in order to sabotage Donald Trump before the 2016 election.
Michael Sussmann, a lawyer formerly employed at Perkins Coie, the influential law firm that funded the infamous Steele dossier on behalf of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, is on trial for lying to the FBI. Sussmann is accused of presenting phony data alleged to prove a connection between Trump and a Russian bank to the department just weeks before Election Day 2016.
The sinister collaboration, exposed years ago by reporters and bloggers on the Right but now confirmed by Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation, involved Democratic Party honchos including the candidate herself; top officials at the Department of Justice, who used the dossier as evidence for a warrant to spy on Trump’s campaign; FBI officials and informants; the Central Intelligence Agency; and of course, the national news media.
Russia’s interference in the 2016 election to rig the outcome in favor of Trump was accepted as truth not just by the same interests responsible for the hoax but by tens of millions of Americans. Roughly half the country openly refused to accept the fact that Trump won fair and square. Media-fueled accusations that the new president and Russian President Vladimir Putin “stole” the election prompted the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller in May 2017, a move supported by most Republicans in Washington.
Trump’s first two years in office were severely hobbled by the nonstop collusion drama as Mueller’s team systematically rounded up Trump allies on unrelated charges to produce breaking headlines and speculation that Trump would be the next one in handcuffs. Even after Mueller in 2019 finally admitted his prosecutors found no evidence of election-altering collusion, 84 percent of Democrats still believed Trump had been in cahoots with the Russians. For four years, Democrats proudly displayed #NotMyPresident hashtags on social media platforms.
And to this day, Hillary Clinton insists the 2016 election “was not on the level.”
But that sort of talk has not been designated the “Big Lie” by the news media or criminalized by the Justice Department. Any suggestion that the 2016 election was “rigged” or “stolen” remains safely under the purview of protected speech and in many quarters, is still considered an indisputable fact.
Not so for those who doubt the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Which is why, just a few floors below Judge Cooper’s courtroom, Timothy Hale is on trial for his participation in the protest at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
While the wheels of justice turn excruciatingly slow for Trump-Russian collusion schemers such as Sussmann, the government has moved at lightning speed to round up dissidents of the Biden regime. More than 800 Americans who protested Biden’s election on January 6 face criminal charges; the Justice Department announces new arrests every week.
Unlike Michael Sussmann, who walked free for five years following the commission of his alleged crime, Tim Hale has been in jail under pre-trial detention orders for more than 16 months.
Yet Hale’s alleged offenses were far less damaging to the country than the crimes Sussmann and his accomplices are accused of committing. On January 6, Hale, an Army reservist, drove to Washington after working the night shift at a New Jersey Naval station to hear President Trump speak. Later that afternoon, Hale walked to Capitol Hill. He entered the Capitol building around 2:14 p.m. through a set of open doors; Hale carried no weapon and didn’t assault anyone. On at least two occasions, Hale is seen interacting with police officers, who did not attempt to arrest either him or those around him.
After 40 minutes, Hale exited the building and drove back to New Jersey in time to start his night shift again. One week later, after his roommate agreed to secretly record a conversation for NCIS, Hale was arrested by at least a dozen armed FBI agents. (His roommate subsequently was paid $4,000 by NCIS for producing the two-hour recording.)
Since then, Biden’s Justice Department has devoted untold human and financial resources to prosecute Hale, who was indicted on four misdemeanors and one obstruction felony. Federal taxpayers have paid to keep Hale, who has no criminal record, incarcerated at a D.C. gulag set aside for Trump supporters. Numerous prosecutors, assistants, law enforcement officers, tech experts, private contractors, and witnesses spent over a year building the case against Hale.
A jury this week finally heard all the evidence in the courtroom of Judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee responsible for keeping Hale behind bars since last spring. But prosecutors spent more time litigating Hale’s political views than arguing his guilt related to his nonviolent excursion through a public building on January 6.
During testimony Wednesday by an FBI agent, prosecutors asked the witness to identify Hale in a clip of video taken inside the building. The agent pointed out that Hale was one of the men carrying a Trump flag. With that, the prosecutor handed the agent a large box containing a government exhibit. The agent pulled the item from the box and showed it to the jury.
It was a Trump 2020 flag.
There was no reason to show jurors, residents of a city that voted nearly 94 percent for Joe Biden, the flag. It wasn’t used as a weapon and didn’t even belong to Hale; he picked it up off the ground on his way out. The government’s only purpose was to dramatically remind the D.C.-based jury that the defendant supported Donald Trump.
Prosecutors then grilled Hale’s roommate, who used the pseudonym “Mike Jacobs” at trial, about Hale’s political views. Jacobs told the jury that Hale believed the election was stolen. The threat to America, Hale believed, was “inward not outward,” Jacobs explained. Big Tech, the Republican Party, and “Jewish” interests also earned Hale’s enmity.
But this testimony, just like the Trump flag, had nothing to do with Hale’s alleged criminal conduct on January 6. Prosecutors weren’t attempting to convince the jury Hale was guilty of trespassing or obstructing an “official proceeding.” Hale, in the eyes of Biden’s Justice Department, is guilty of the unforgivable crime of voting for Trump.
Jurors in both cases are expected to begin deliberations on Friday. Unfortunately for Hale, D.C. juries have returned unanimous guilty verdicts on all counts in record time for January 6 protesters.
Regardless of the verdicts for Sussmann and Hale, it’s increasingly clear Americans continue to live in two separate and unequal systems of government. One side enjoys a protracted legal process that ultimately results in a slap on the wrist, favorable—or buried—news coverage, and a sympathetic jury pool among other benefits. The opposite side is hunted, incarcerated, and humiliated, left to the nonexistent mercies of a ruling class that views them with palpable contempt.
A “stolen” election for thee but not for me.