The DOJ is now seeking a seventeen year prison sentence against a January 6th Capitol attacker. If you’re surprised by this, you shouldn’t be. We tried to warn everyone months ago that the prison sentences would scale up dramatically as the DOJ moved from trespassers to violent attackers. More serious charges tend to be more complex in nature, so it can take longer to bring the charges, and it can take longer for them to get to trial.
All that public outrage over those earlier 14 day prison sentences was misplaced. Some will say that the DOJ should have spoken up back then and educated the public about how these things work. But I would argue that it’s the job of the media and pundit class who covers these stories to educate audiences about how these things work.
Given that so many in the media and pundit class misled their audiences into thinking that the January 6th prison sentences would all be 14 days, simply because they were looking to milk their audiences for rage-retweets, it can’t be seen as the DOJ’s fault that so much of the public ended up with a false understanding of how this process would go. If the media and pundit class would just be more honest about these things, the DOJ wouldn’t be stuck having to decide when and whether to publicly defend itself against the media’s dishonesty.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report