As we’ve been increasingly conditioned to identify the term “domestic terrorist” with anyone involved in the Jan. 6 “insurrection,” it may be helpful to take a look at individuals who have committed actual domestic terrorism for comparison.
In the 2020 riots following the death of George Floyd, Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman distributed Molotov cocktails to rioters in Brooklyn, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
Rahman didn’t stop at just handing out incendiary devices to the crowd; she also threw a Molotov cocktail into a police car before fleeing the scene with Mattis in his van.
“This s*** won’t ever stop unless we f***ing take it all down,” Rahman said in an interview, adding that “the only way they hear us is through violence.”
Both Mattis and Rahman were lawyers, and both were disbarred after being arrested and pleading guilty.
Prosecutors in October 2020 dropped six of the seven charges against the fledgling terrorists as part of their plea deal. They fought for the maximum 10-year sentence on the remaining charge using a “terrorism enhancement.”
But conveniently for the firebomber and her accomplice, Attorney General Merrick Garland took office, vowing to “[battle] extremist attacks on our democratic institutions.”
So, in its steadfast efforts to battle extremist attacks, the Justice Department changed course and argued for leniency for Rahman and Mattis, urging the judge to throw out the terrorism enhancement. Prosecutors withdrew the original plea deal and asked for just 18 to 24 months.
This was ostensibly due to the “history and personal characteristics of the defendants” and the “aberrational nature of the defendants’ conduct.”
Rahman was sentenced to 15 months in prison on Friday, according to a separate report from the Free Beacon.
Former lawyer Urooj Rahman, who threw a Molotov cocktail during George Floyd’s protest, has been sentenced to 15 months in prison. Rahman was also ordered to pay $30,137 in restitution to New York City https://t.co/rWZbB6DqEx @DaveThomas5150 pic.twitter.com/JxnwLrpOJr
— Reuters Legal (@ReutersLegal) November 19, 2022
“Swapping in a softer plea agreement after having gone through the plea hearing is an exceedingly rare event in federal court,” said James Trusty, a former DOJ prosecutor, according to the Free Beacon.
Trusty added that it can sometimes happen if there is “truly some new development or understanding about the defendants that merits a fresh look.”
In this case, as there were no changes in the facts of the case, we’re left to assume the real development was the one in the leadership’s political affiliation.
Trusty agreed, noting that “this same Department of Justice would likely take quite a different stance if this had been a defendant throwing Molotov cocktails in Washington, D.C., on January 6.”