The January 6th Obsession Claims Another Victim

August 1, 2022


With their unrelenting witch hunt and their bogus committee hearings and prosecutions, the Democrats and their supporters in the Department of Justice, the establishment wing of the Republican Party, and the corrupt mainstream news media have triggered another January 6th protester to take his life. Last week, Mark Aungst of South Williamsport, PA, committed suicide, according to Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr.

Aungst, a gas field well service technician, traveled to Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021, to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally organized by supporters of President Donald Trump. After the rally, Aungst joined thousands of others in marching to the U.S. Capitol.

He did not attack any police officers or engage in any violence. He did not destroy or damage any property in the U.S. Capitol. Aungst entered the building twice and walked around. Along with co-defendant Tammy Bronsburg, Aungst took images and videos on a cell phone. According to federal prosecutors, he committed the misdemeanor crime of “parading or demonstrating inside a restricted building.”

Aungst and Bronsburg pleaded guilty to this misdemeanor after three other charges were dismissed. He was scheduled to be sentenced on September 27, 2022, by U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton. Aungst faced the possibility of six months in prison and a fine of $5,000.

In his obituary, Aungst was described as a “loyal and dedicated man,” who “loved his daughter and any time they spent together, as she was truly his world.”  He is survived by his mother, his three siblings, and his daughter, who is expecting her first child.

The Aungst family are not the only ones to lose a loved one due to the reckless prosecution of January 6th protesters. Matthew Perna, another Pennsylvania man who traveled to Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021, and entered the U.S. Capitol, committed suicide in February.

He was facing several years in prison and was discovered hanged to death in his garage. According to his obituary, Perna “didn't break, touch, or steal anything. He did not harm anyone, as he stayed within the velvet ropes taking pictures. For this act, he has been persecuted by many members of his community, friends, relatives, and people who had never met him.”

As of several weeks ago, 855 Trump supporters had been arrested by U.S. Department of Justice officials for their involvement in the activities of January 6, 2021. Of that group, 300 have pleaded guilty to criminal conduct and 80 have been imprisoned.

Many of those prisoners have not been convicted in court and have been denied their basic due-process rights. These prisoners have also made disturbing reports of mistreatment, assault, and the denial of basic human rights such as medical care. Their prison accommodations have been described as the “D.C. gulag.”

This travesty of justice must end. Republicans in Congress must demand this tyrannical persecution of the participants in the January 6th protests cease before more Americans are jailed or killed.

Unfortunately, this horrific abuse of Trump supporters by the Department of Justice has been mostly ignored by Republican lawmakers. Only a handful, such as U.S. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-GA), have advocated for better treatment of these defendants.

The January 6th protesters are being treated worse than terrorists at Gitmo or the Antifa hooligans who committed 574 violent riots in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd. In those riots, 2,000 police officers were injured, at least six people were killed, and there was billions of dollars in property damage as buildings were ransacked and destroyed nationwide.  

The double standard of justice was on display last week. In June, several staff members associated with left-wing comedian Stephen Colbert’s television show illegally entered the U.S. Capitol on two occasions to record video segments.

According to the U.S. Capitol Police, the staffers were “disruptive, loud,” and “theatrical,” and “lied” about their credentials. In addition, the intruders pretended to leave notes under the door of various congressional offices inviting members to a cocaine orgy.

Despite the voluminous evidence compiled by the U.S. Capitol Police, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia declined to prosecute these individuals. Their behavior was worse than the actions of many of the people prosecuted for their involvement in the January 6th intrusion into the U.S. Capitol. The difference is that these Colbert staffers work for an ultra-left comedian and the January 6th protesters supported President Trump.

The double standard of justice has been evident since the Obama administration, with the lack of prosecution of those involved in the IRS abuse of the Tea Party organizations and the Fast and Furious scandal. It continued during the Trump/Russia collusion hoax and the Deep State involvement in the surveillance of the President.

With such a double standard, our entire system of justice is threatened.


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Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990-AM, and www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America's Last Chance, and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com. For more information, email him at jeff@jeffcrouere.com
Visit Jeff Crouere's website at www.JeffCrouere.com