Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said she will move to introduce articles of impeachment against Matthew Graves, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, over his focus on prosecuting cases arising from the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.
Greene said on Tuesday during a hearing from the House Oversight Committee on crime in Washington, D.C. that Graves had chosen to not prosecute 67 percent of people arrested by D.C. police officers but continues to pursue cases and sentences against Jan. 6 defendants. She said the decision to not prosecute the former is “absolutely criminal.”
“The time for weaponizing the Department of Justice needs to come to an end. And because you refuse to prosecute real criminals that are violating all the crimes here in Washington, D.C., and you want to talk about D.C. residents — they are victims of your abuse of power,” she said. “And because of that, I am introducing articles of impeachment on you, Mr. Graves.”
Graves has defended his office’s conduct, telling The Washington Post that his office is prosecuting most violent felonies. He said less serious cases were not being pursued for various reasons, including the body-camera footage from officers has been subjecting arrests to additional scrutiny.
Greene mentioned an example of Matthew Perna, a Pennsylvania man who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 and died by suicide last year while awaiting sentencing. Perna entered the Capitol on Jan. 6 and stayed inside for about 20 minutes, during which he took video of the crowd there.
Perna’s family said he died from a “broken heart” and partially blamed the government prosecution for leading to his death.
Greene said Perna “peacefully” entered the Capitol, did not assault anyone or damage any property and cooperated with the FBI. She said Graves issued a request to delay Perna’s sentencing to allow more time to request a longer sentence for him despite him not hurting anyone.
“And this is what you’ve done repeatedly, over and over, for those who pled or were convicted on Jan. 6,” she said.
Greene has pushed back on the treatment of Jan. 6 defendants in the past two years. She has on multiple occasions called for the release of all security footage that was taken during the attack and alleged that the defendants awaiting trial were being “mistreated” following a March visit to the D.C. jail where they were being held.
Graves has overseen the prosecution of many of the defendants facing charges over their conduct during the riot.
Greene’s comments come months after she filed articles of impeachment against Attorney General Merrick Garland over the FBI’s search of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property for classified and sensitive documents that were taken there
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