A judge on Monday admonished the Justice Department for their handling of Capitol riot cases, suggesting the sheer size and scope of the investigation led to some defendants having their rights “trampled.”
U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui made the unusually stern denunciation at a hearing for Lucas Denney of Texas, whom the judge states was “lost” in the system as the DOJ sought to prosecute a considerable number of cases involving January 6th.
Faruqui, who noted he was formerly a federal prosecutor in the same U.S. Attorney’s Office leading the investigation, suggested the government had “bitten off more than it can chew.”
“You have been lost for months,” the judge told Denney. “There’s no excuse to treat a human being like that. … There is no circumstance under which any person should be forgotten.”
Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui decried delays in the case of a Texas man accused of assaulting police on Jan. 6.
Last year, Faruqui complained about another defendant taking 3 weeks to be moved to D.C.
“There’s no excuse to treat a human being like that.”https://t.co/2rIAKbypok
— Christopher Cadelago (@ccadelago) March 7, 2022
Judge: Capitol Riot Defendants Rights Being Trampled
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Politico reports that Faruqui seemed inclined to release Denney but such a move was complicated because a grand jury had indicted him – on a single count related to the Capitol riot.
That indictment came on Monday, 425 days after the January 6 incident.
Interestingly, Denney’s name does not appear on the Justice Department’s roll call of ‘Capitol Breach Cases.’
He does, however, appear in a press release from the DOJ indicating he has been charged and accused of having “grabbed and shoved a police officer” and swinging a “long metal pole” at them.
NEW: Judge says massive scope of #CapitolRiot prosecution led to defendant’s right to prompt court hearings being ‘trampled.’ Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui again apologizes profusely to #Jan6 defendant who got ‘lost’ in system https://t.co/hILqwtfQjZ
— Josh Gerstein (@joshgerstein) March 7, 2022
Denney was detained in December without bail but wasn’t transferred to Washington for six weeks. Once there, according to the Politico report, nobody contacted the D.C. court to get a hearing for Denney for over three weeks.
“I am utterly at a loss,” Faruqui told the Capitol riot defendant during his hearing.
“I see a person’s rights that have been trampled,” the judge said.
JUST IN: Chief Judge Beryl Howell orders a magistrate to prepare recommendation on motion to dismiss filed by #CapitolRiot defendant Lucas Denney, who doesn’t seem to have seen a judge in more than 2 months. Probably goes to Judge Zia Faruqui who is on criminal duty this month pic.twitter.com/Vwul5Uhg4F
— Josh Gerstein (@joshgerstein) March 7, 2022
Rights Being Trampled
It is important to note that while most seek to justify a judge’s decisions or comments based on their perceived political leanings, U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui doesn’t appear exactly to be a Trump-leaning supporter by any means.
Appointed as a federal magistrate judge in September of 2020, Faruqui, according to a Buzzfeed News report, was being vetted for a vacancy on the US District Court for the District of Columbia by Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) at the behest of the White House.
“Faruqui spent more than a decade in US attorney offices, first in St. Louis and then in Washington — another traditional path to the federal bench that liberal groups hope Biden relies less on — but … would be a potentially history-making pick as an American Muslim,” the report states.
BREAKING: Federal magistrate says he’s going to *deny* Federico KLEIN’s bid to be released pending trial for allegedly assaulting officers on Jan. 6.
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) March 9, 2021
Aside from Denney’s rights being ‘trampled,’ at least two other Capitol riot defendants according to the Justice Department’s log remain held without bond.
Nicholas James Brockhoff was arrested in May of 2021, pled not guilty in early September, and Ryan Samsel was arrested on January 30, 2021. Both remain “held without bond.”
Some 40 defendants from the January 6th riot at the US Capitol are being held in the Washington DC jail without bail. They’ve complained about harsh conditions, prompting court action against the facility. @RepMTG went to see for herself. Correspondent, @ErikRosalesNews reports. pic.twitter.com/DICJOsnJ4C
— EWTN News Nightly (@EWTNNewsNightly) December 11, 2021
Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) said to reporters recently that January 6 rioters were “being treated differently.”
“They’re denied time with their attorneys,” Greene alleged. “They are denied the ability to even see their families and have their families visit there. They are denied bail and (are) being held there without bail.”
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