Judiciary Committee Launches Investigation into DOJ’s ‘Selective Treatment’ of Blaze Journalist and Other J6 Defendants

The Republican-led House Judiciary Committee has launched an investigation into the Department of Justice’s “selective treatment” of Blaze journalist Steve Baker and other January 6 defendants.

In a letter to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew Graves, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) raised concerns about selective prosecution of Baker and other J6 defendants, and argued that “the disparate treatment of disfavored groups violates the Department’s mission of equal justice under the law.”

On March 1, Baker voluntarily turned himself in to the FBI field office in Dallas over misdemeanor charges related to his January 6 reporting. The reporter was taken into custody by the FBI, fingerprinted, photographed, placed in handcuffs and perp-walked to an FBI vehicle that transported him to the Dallas courthouse for a 10:00 am hearing before the magistrate.

He was brought before the magistrate judge in “a belly chain, box cuffs, and leg shackles,” Jordan noted, and charged with “entering restricted grounds,” “disorderly conduct,” and “parading and picketing in the Capitol,” in connection with his presence at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

“This conduct smacks of harassment and selective treatment for a disfavored criminal defendant,” Jordan said.

Baker’s counsel, a former federal prosecutor, had said that in his long career with the Justice Department, he had never once seen “in an initial appearance on misdemeanor charges where the defendant was told to report first to the FBI to be fingerprinted and photographed before going to the courthouse.”

Jordan questioned the Justice Department’s targeting of Baker, “who has been critical of the Department’s handling of the January 6 investigations and prosecutions,” while ignoring the corporate media journalists that were there that day.

The Chairman also brought up a recent ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that has the potential to affect the sentences of at least 330 other other defendants.

The court found that these defendants were wrongly sentenced for “interfering with the administration of justice” during the Capitol riot, ruling that their actions did not meet the legal criteria for a sentencing enhancement that increased their prison time.

The Supreme Court, meanwhile, is considering whether the Justice Department “has improperly interpreted a financial crimes statute to sentence January 6 defendants to 20-year prison terms,” Jordan wrote.

“Members of the Committee have filed an amicus brief with the Court explaining how the Department’s conduct criminalizes politics and weaponizes the administration of justice,” he said. “All of these issues raise concerns about the Biden Administration’s commitment to equal application of the law.”

The committee is requesting  “all documents and communications referring or relating to the arrest of Mr. Steven Baker; all documents and communications referring or relating to the investigation, prosecution, or arrest of any journalists covering the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021; all documents and communications referring or relating to the Department’s determinations to request pretrial detention of individual defendants charged in connection with the events at the Capitol on January 6, 2021; and all documents and communications referring or relating to defendants charged in connection with the events at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, who are now or have been in pretrial detention in connection with these events, including, but not limited to, formal complaints filed with Department of Justice by or on behalf of January 6 defendants.”

Jordan requested that the information be provided as soon as possible, but no later than  5:00 p.m. on March 26, 2024.

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About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.

Photo: UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 14: Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, September 14, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)