Jim Banks urges DOJ for answers after BLM Rioter charges dropped

Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) has pressed President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) for answers after the agency dropped arson charges against a leftist rioter, according to a letter obtained exclusively by Breitbart News.

Law enforcement officials arrested and charged Victor Sanchez-Santa, then 19, in federal court with arson in June 2020, shortly after he allegedly started a fire that burned a vehicle of the NYPD in the aftermath of the George Floyd riots.

According to the federal lawsuit filed against Sanchez-Santa:

On June 9, 2020, at approximately 1:20 a.m., SANCHEZ-SANTA stopped his car next to a marked NYPD vehicle on West 42nd Street in Manhattan. He got out of his car, took a cloth glove in his hand, and held the glove in front of a flame until it ignited. He then put the hot glove under the NYPD vehicle and got back into his car, leaving the hot glove burning under the police car.

Following his arrest, United States Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman praised federal and local law enforcement officials for their quick response and assistance in identifying the accused.

Although arson carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years, Biden’s DOJ dismissed the case in November 2021.

United States Attorney T. Josiah Pertz wrote:

Based on a review of the evidence in the case and information relating to this defendant obtained after the filing of the indictment, the government concluded that further prosecution of VICTOR SANCHEZ-SANTA would not be possible. in the interests of justice.

The DOJ also determined that “postponement of prosecution” would be in the best interests of the defendant and the United States.

Instead of jail time, prosecutors let Sanchez-Santa go with nine months probation and mandatory anger management classes.

Banks asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to send his office “all evidence in the case and information relating to this defendant acquired after the filing of the indictment” that contributed to the DOJ’s decision to to drop the charges by June 24.

Banks added that the DOJ’s decision “fits its model [of] lenient treatment from left-wing rioters. Banks drew attention to two Manhattan lawyers who were arrested for throwing Molotov cocktails at an NYPD car during the BLM riots, but later had their charges dropped and a “much more lenient” plea deal. ” was concluded.

The banks continued:

According to information from Politico, after you took office, the Justice Department showed a “new willingness to resolve Portland protest cases without criminal conviction,” and according to the Wall Street Journal, the Justice Department refused to prosecute about half of all of the rioters arrested on federal charges in Portland.

The Indiana congressman also called out Biden for being lenient with leftist rioters while prosecuting peaceful Jan. 6 protesters “to the harshest extent possible.”

“Under your leadership, the Justice Department operates within a two-tier justice system,” Banks said. “Violent rioters who are likely to vote for Democrats are often released with a slap on the wrist, or less, while those charged on January 6 are prosecuted to the harshest extent possible.”

“The unequal application of justice is an injustice, and your politicization of federal law enforcement is an attack on the fundamental American principle of equal justice under the law,” Banks said.


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