Brandon Straka, the founder of the #WalkAway movement, is being sentenced this week for his participation in the January 6 protest at the US Capitol.
A smear campaign has begun against Straka concerning his January 6 case. Outlets are reporting a court document that reveals Straka provided information to prosecutors in exchange for a lighter sentencing recommendation. Some folks are insinuating that he’s a snitch. I have to ask, where is the evidence for any of that?
First off, the sentencing recommendation is for anything but a “light” sentence. For a first-time offender of a non-violent class b misdemeanor, the government is asking for a sentencing that is considered excessive.
FBI arrested Straka on January 25, 2021. The #WalkAway founder never entered the Capitol and was among the crowds outside on Capitol grounds for a total of 10 minutes. He never conspired with anyone before, during, or after the January 6 protest to riot. He was there to give his support for the America First movement and then President Donald Trump.
It’s one thing for leftists to attack conservatives inside the America First movement because that’s always expected. It’s how the game is played.
It is wholly another thing when media types who claim to be in the conservative movement attack one of their own based on speculation and innuendo and use leftist sources to boot. That’s what’s going on against Straka and it’s not right.
For example, there are some sites, including conservative blog sites, that are accusing Straka of being a snitch based on a Politico article about the #WalkAway founder providing information to the government that could impact his sentencing recommendation.
“It’s an indication that Straka, one of the few Jan. 6 defendants who is also of interest to congressional investigators, has cooperated with prosecutors in a substantive way,” according to the outlet.
It’s an indication is one of those things many writers say to allow themselves to carry on with speculation about a story.
If you’re going to use Politico to trash fellow conservatives, why not just go straight to White House mouthpiece Jen Psaki?
All the speculators are throwing out theories that Straka must have done something to betray conservatives in order to get a “lenient” sentencing recommendation. Again, it’s not a lenient sentencing recommendation for the facts of the case. It’s excessive.
Here’s what is causing all the conspiracy theories. A court document that was filed on December 17, 2021 states:
The United States of America and defendant jointly move this Court to continue the sentencing hearing currently scheduled for December 22, 2021 and move this Court to vacate the deadline for sentencing memorandum to be filed.
On December 8, 2021, the defendant provided counsel for the government with information that may impact the government’s sentencing recommendation. Additionally, the government is requesting additional time to investigate information provided in the Final Pre-Sentence Report. Because the government’s sentencing recommendation may be impacted based on the newly discovered information, the government and defendant request a 30-day continuance of this case so that the information can be properly evaluated. [Emphasis added]
That sentence in bold is what all the hysteria and character assassination is about. Some people reported that Straka was looking at 20 years, when the reality is for the class b misdemeanor he was charged, there is a maximum prison sentence of 6 months. And that would be for a multi-time offender, not a first-time offender with no violence involved.
What irks me is some sites are insinuating that Straka “cooperated” with the government by handing over information for a better sentencing recommendation. He did no such thing. At that stage of the process, the government did not ask him for anything. There was nothing to cooperate for. No deal was placed in front of him.
In fact, we have no idea what that information was because it hasn’t been revealed to the public. What happened to waiting for the facts to come out before rendering judgement?
Some pundits question Straka’s loyalties. After all, he was a liberal and then we’re supposed to believe he “suddenly” became a MAGA supporter? If these people had only listened to Straka’s own words as he tells it, it was not a St. Paul struck blind by a light from heaven moment. He did a lot of research to learn the truth about the Democratic Party that he was a member of for so long. After a while, when he realized the amount of lies he was told and believed for so long were not true, he decided to walk away. For goodness’ sake, Straka didn’t tell people to join the Republican Party. He did a video encouraging people to walk away from the Democratic Party. He had no idea his video would create a movement and a force for doing do so many good things later on when he got involved in the America First movement.
No one knows a damn thing about Straka’s case to make insinuations like that. They read a court document that said Straka provided information to the government that may impact his sentencing recommendation and they linked to a Politico piece for validation.
Reading the court document at face value could mean a thousand different things. You don’t automatically go down a dark road and accuse a fellow conservative of being a snitch when you don’t have the facts to support it!
I don’t think creating a false narrative against Straka, a fellow conservative, is helping to move the America First agenda forward, do you?
Straka has done far more to help the America First movement than most websites could ever dream. He didn’t just run a website that asked Democrats to walk away from the party. Once he joined up with Trump conservatives, he traveled all across America giving numerous speeches for the America First movement. He pointed out the differences between what the Democrats wanted to do to America and what President Trump and the Republicans had already achieved. He gave endorsement speeches for MAGA candidates, and many of them were undoubtedly elected with his help. And for that, he now has to sit there and read the garbage that is being said about him when not one of them knows what the information was that was mentioned in one line of a government document.
On Tuesday, Straka’s attorney filed a Response to the Government’s Sentencing Memorandum.
Among other things, it mentions the following:
Before the Court is the sentencing of defendant for a single misdemeanor violation of 40 U.S.C. § 5104(e)(2)(D), Disorderly Conduct in the Capitol Grounds. On this Class B misdemeanor, the government filed a 30-page sentencing position filled with hyperbolic rhetoric, out of context
statements of defendant, and non-relevant conduct designed to stoke political flames. The government fixates on defendant’s social media following and is apparently attempting to make a public example of a prominent Trump-supporting influence. In its brief, the government attacks
defendant’s constitutionally protected political speech, beliefs, and activities. This is both unconstitutional and in clear violation of the Department of Justice’s own guidelines. Section 9-27.730 of the Department of Justice Manual provides:
The attorney for the government should make sentencing recommendations based on an individualized assessment of the facts and circumstances of each case and the history and characteristics of the defendant, without improper consideration of the defendant’s race, religion, gender, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, or political association, activities, or beliefs.
Defendant accepts full responsibility for his conduct at the Capitol on January 6 and has expressed remorse for entering the restricted Capitol Grounds. In evaluating an appropriate sentence for this offense, the following factors weigh heavily for a modest non-custodial sentence: (1) defendant did not enter the Capitol, (2) defendant did not engage in any violence, (3) defendant did not possess any weapons, (4) defendant accepted early responsibility for his conduct and voluntarily submitted to three separate government interviews.
Defendant accepts full responsibility for his conduct at the Capitol on January 6 and has expressed remorse for entering the restricted Capitol Grounds. In evaluating an appropriate sentence for this offense, the following factors weigh heavily for a modest non-custodial sentence:
(1) defendant did not enter the Capitol, (2) defendant did not engage in any violence, (3) defendant did not possess any weapons, (4) defendant accepted early responsibility for his conduct and voluntarily submitted to three separate government interviews.
During the interviews the government was focused on establishing an organized conspiracy between defendant, President Donald J. Trump, and allies of the former president, to disrupt the Joint Session of Congress on January 6. Defendant answered all questions truthfully and denied the existence of any such plot. In August 2021, the FBI arrived at the same conclusion and found no evidence that violence was centrally coordinated by any individual or group. Despite these findings, the government persists with a false narrative that defendant’s actions were premeditated and orchestrated in concert with the greater mob that stormed the Capitol. The Court should reject this improper attempt to expand the scope of the appropriate sentencing factors, and consider only defendant’s relevant conduct with respect to the charged offense: misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
Read the full document.
This should silence arguments that Straka “cooperated” with the government or acted like a snitch. He answered all questions truthfully and told the FBI that there was no coordinated plot by anyone to breach the building and disrupt the Joint Session of Congress that day, and the FBI agreed.
Straka’s attorneys could have discovered mitigating circumstances that made the government realize the initial sentencing recommendation was too harsh given the new information. I still think it’s too harsh. There could have been information given to the defense from outside sources that revealed Straka may not have done the things he was accused of doing. A more serious crime may have taken place at the Capitol that could have been discovered through evidence provided during the discovery phase that has since been shown to the prosecution. We don’t know because the information hasn’t yet been revealed.
Nothing presented by the government so far means that Straka sold people out, and after what he has done for the America First movement, I think he should be given the benefit of the doubt. It’s bad enough that the very politicians he helped get elected have abandoned him throughout his January 6 ordeal, but now some so-called conservative sites are trashing him using speculation from a government document that doesn’t give any details.
The sentencing hearing is Thursday. After that, Straka can tell his story and reveal anything he wants. Until then, he’s still the #WalkAway guy who made a real difference.
If you want to listen to Brandon Straka’s sentencing hearing on Thursday, here’s the information:
Access Code: 8424583