Two-tier justice system.
“I have a hard time thinking general deterrence is well served by swapping in a soft plea agreement to justify light treatment for someone who bombed a police car,” Trusty said. “This same Department of Justice would likely take quite a different stance if this had been a defendant throwing Molotov cocktails in Washington, D.C., on January 6.”
“Left-Wing Lawyer Who Firebombed Police Car Dodges Five-Year Sentence, Will Spend Just 15 Months in Prison,” by Josh Christenson, Washington Free Beacon, November 18, 2022:
NEW YORK—Urooj Rahman, a public interest lawyer who firebombed a police cruiser during the 2020 George Floyd riots, was sentenced to just 15 months in prison on Friday after the Biden Justice Department intervened on her behalf, pressing the court to issue a sentence below the guidelines that called for 10 years.
U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan of the Eastern District of New York handed down the sentence to a packed courtroom in Brooklyn, where Rahman’s allies gathered in solidarity. Rahman, who faced up to five years in prison, told supporters the sentence “wasn’t the result we wanted.” Her attorney, Peter Baldwin, said Rahman’s defense team was “obviously disappointed with the result, but we are excited that Urooj can move on to the next phase of her life.”
Rahman and her accomplice, Colinford Mattis, leveraged their connections to top universities, white-shoe law firms, and the Obama administration, to win sympathy from liberal elites. They were the subjects of glowing profiles in national media during their prosecution, and struck a sweetheart deal with the Biden Justice Department, which, in a rare move, intervened to ask the court to go easy on them after the Trump administration had pressed for an aggressive prosecution.
The Justice Department declined to comment.
The plea deal paid off for Rahman, who was also sentenced to two years of supervised release. Cogan chastised Rahman for the “amazing level of arrogance” it took for a lawyer to perpetrate an “attack on the rule of law.” But the judge also called Rahman “a remarkable person who did a terrible thing one night,” echoing the case her lawyers made in her defense.
On May 29, 2020, Rahman, a graduate of Fordham University’s law school, threw a Molotov cocktail into an NYPD vehicle along with Mattis, a Princeton and New York University Law School graduate. The pair pleaded guilty in June, which qualified them for automatic disbarment. New York officially disbarred them on Tuesday.
The Trump administration initially pursued a domestic terrorism sentencing enhancement against the pair, which would have carried a maximum 10-year sentence. But the Biden Justice Department dropped the enhancement, and the lawyers confessed to counts of conspiracy to commit arson and to making and possessing an unregistered destructive device.
The lesser charges carried a maximum sentence of five years. In September, prosecutors requested the duo serve just 18 to 24 months based on the “history and personal characteristics of the defendants.”
James Trusty, a former prosecutor in the Justice Department’s criminal division, told the Washington Free Beacon that Rahman received “extraordinarily unusual treatment by the DOJ.”
“I have a hard time thinking general deterrence is well served by swapping in a soft plea agreement to justify light treatment for someone who bombed a police car,” Trusty said. “This same Department of Justice would likely take quite a different stance if this had been a defendant throwing Molotov cocktails in Washington, D.C., on January 6.”…