A federal judge fired back at an argument claiming that those arrested for rioting at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 are being persecuted for their political views, telling a defendant that his definition of “patriotism” is misguided, CNN reports.
“You called yourself and everyone else patriots, but that’s not patriotism,” Judge Amy Berman Jackson told 41-year-old defendant Karl Dresch. “Patriotism is loyalty to country, loyalty to the Constitution, not loyalty to a head of state. That is the tyranny we rejected on July 4.”
According to Jackson, Dresch was an “enthusiastic participant” in the effort “to subvert democracy, to stop the will of the people and replace it with the will of the mob.”
Jackson cited Dresch’s posts on social media which called Jan. 6 a “total victory” and that “traitors” in Congress would now “know who’s really in charge,” as proof that he poses a danger to society.
“The defendant did not spend six months in jail because he is a political prisoner. He was not prosecuted for his political views,” Jackson said. “The defendant came to the Capitol because he placed his trust in someone who repaid that trust by lying to him.”
Jackson is a known critic of the Trump administration. As CNN points out, Jackson wrote back in May that Trump “continues to propagate the lie that inspired the attack on a near daily basis,” and that “the anger surrounding the false accusation continues to be stoked by multiple media outlets as well as the state and federal party leaders who are intent on censuring those who dare to challenge the former President’s version of events.”
Due to his criminal history, Dresch was given the maximum sentence of 6 months in jail over his misdemeanor charge. He’s the third Capitol riot defendant who was given jail time after pleading guilty.