I’ve always had great respect for our legal system. It’s as good as any of which I’m aware. No, I’m not naive. I’m fully aware that every institution depends on the competence and integrity of those involved and that means sometimes decisions are rendered that are wrong — muddy thinking and sometimes corrupt judges; self-seeking prosecutors; incompetent counsel; bad and poorly written laws; false testimony by liars — all contribute now and then to unjust resolutions. But in recent years, my faith has been even more badly shaken by continued and obvious corruption all the way down the line.
This week there are three instances that confirm my belief that something is seriously amiss in our justice system:
The FBI’s hidden and far-too-tardy acknowledgment that the Bernie Sanders supporter who tried to murder the Republican House leadership in 2017 was a domestic terrorist.
The continued mistreatment (overcharging and continued solitary confinement) of several of the January 6 Capitol demonstrators compounded by the officials’ lies about it and the Department of Justice’s refusal to make available to the public the videos of that event.
And a claim by one of the three defendants in the George Floyd case that a key witness in the Chauvin trial had been improperly coerced to change his testimony and the prosecution (the Minnesota attorney general’s office) did nothing to inform the defense of the interactions the defendant asserts were coercive.
Since the press has quickly smothered this story, let me remind you. In June 2017 Hodgkinson, a Bernie Sanders supporter who had posted on Facebook that “Trump is a Traitor. Trump has Destroyed our democracy. It’s Time to destroy Trump & Co,” and had otherwise demonstrated his extreme hostility to Republicans, traveled to Virginia from his home in Illinois, and after learning that the men playing ball there were Republican congressmen, opened fired on them, wounding five people including Congressman Steve Scalise, who nearly bled to death and required multiple surgeries before he could return to Congress.
While Attorney General Merrick Garland claims that white supremacists are the biggest terror threat facing us, and the press regularly hypes such a danger, the truth is that this was the most serious partisan political terrorist act in recent years on our soil.
Now, four years later and hidden as deeply as possible:
The FBI quietly admitted Friday that the 2017 Alexandria, Virginia, baseball field shooting that nearly killed Rep. Steve Scalise has been classified as ‘domestic terrorism’ carried out by a ‘domestic violent extremist ‘targeting Republicans after the bureau previously classified is as ‘suicide by cop.’
The revelation appears in the middle of an appendix on page 35 of a 40-page FBI-DHS report released on Friday titled “Security Strategic Intelligence Assessment and Data on Domestic Terrorism.” In a section describing approximately 85 different “FBI-Designated Significant Domestic Terrorism Incidents in the United States from 2015 through 2019,” the Alexandria baseball field shooting appears, with the FBI categorizing the perpetrator as a “Domestic Violent Extremist” and describing the incident thusly: “An individual with a personalized violent ideology targeted and shot Republican members of Congress at a baseball field and wounded five people. The subject died as a result of engagement with law enforcement.”
In October 2017, Alexandria’s top prosecutor concluding the shooting was terrorism, and both the DHS and the office of the Director of National Intelligence characterized Hodgkinson’s acts as domestic violent terrorism. Only the FBI refused to until now, when it did so as sneakily as possible.
Why the sudden burst of tardy honesty in this limited hangout that ignores the FBI’s role in hiding for the truth for four years? Maybe they see the pendulum swinging back and are covering their backsides. Of course, the FBI’s initial lie and the intervening years make this late and buried volte-face almost worthless. (If you doubt me, ask one of your Democratic friends or any reporter you come across if they know who James Hodgkinson was and why he is newsworthy.)