As I explained in my column last week, D.C. federal judges are in the process of turning nonviolent and petty vandalism offenses into crimes of terrorism. These decisions represent a major escalation in the war on terror at Trump supporters and Americans on the political Right in general.
But the mindset of the judges responsible for creating a new long list of terror crimes is something to behold. I sat in Judge Tim Kelly’s courtroom last week as he detailed in a nearly three-hour oral ruling why he was poised to hand down harsh prison sentences for members of the Proud Boys convicted by a D.C. jury of dubious, if not outright laughable, charges such as seditious conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding.
Kelly’s dramatic monologue represented the cherry on top of the sh*t sundae the judge has created in his courtroom over the past few years in this matter. For the most part, the conduct of the defendants before and on January 6 is protected First Amendment speech. Organizing a trip to Washington and using inflammatory language in group chats are not crimes—at least they weren’t until January 6, 2021.
Only one defendant, Dominic Pezzola, directly damaged government property; he used