California Judge Tosses Case Against Trump Supporters Because of Selective Prosecution 

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California is known for many things, many resulting from skewed, unsustainable progressive policies. High taxes, stunningly stupid laws, and crushing regulations make the Golden State a living caricature of liberalism.  

Common sense rarely prevails in California, and it’s nearly unthinkable that it would live in a California courtroom.  

A recent ruling in the case of two “far-right political agitators” did not work out as planned for federal prosecutors, who had arrested them for their roles in the 2017 Berkeley protests. 

The 2017 Berkeley protests spanned from February to September 2017 and involved various organized groups with differing political views. The protests were sparked by the invitation of right-wing figures, including speaker Milo Yiannopoulos, to speak at UC Berkeley. Opponents of these speakers, including Antifa groups, socialists, and activists, clashed with pro-Trump groups like Republicans, and extremist groups, including neo-Nazis and white nationalists, who were there to see the speakers.  

One leftist group, By Any Means Necessary, made it their mission to show up to conservative events expressly to start fights and shut them down. 

While most of the protests remained peaceful, tensions escalated during several of the rallies and demonstrations. Milo Yiannopoulos’s scheduled speech on February 1, 2017, led to protests and violence. Similarly, a March 4, 2017, pro-Trump rally resulted in injuries and ten arrests, with police confiscating weapons like baseball bats and metal pipes.  

Critics noted that those arrested were conservative and pro-Trump. The leftist protestors who infiltrated the rallies were not arrested despite showing up to the rallies armed and ready for violence. 

California is the place where cases against pro-Trump supporters go to die. There is usually no place for conservatives in the state, and just being a Trump supporter alone is considered criminal activity. 

Robert Rundo, leader of the Rise Against Movement, and Robert Boman, a member of the group, were arrested for conspiracy to violate the Anti-Riot Act, a seldom used law created in the 60s to imprison black agitators and communists. The law criminalizes the use of interstate commerce or communication, like phones, to plan activities that escalate into riots. 

Of course, their only crime was showing up to support the event, and they weren’t the ones planning a riot. They claimed they were protecting a Black man in a red hat from a vicious assault by several Antifa members, but It seemed their fate was sealed until one voice of reason noted the unfairness of their arrests.  

“No individuals associated with the left, who engaged in anti-far-right speech and violently suppressed the protected speech of Trump supporters, were charged with a federal crime for their part in starting riots at political events. That is textbook viewpoint discrimination.’ 

Meet Judge Cormac J. Carney, the US District Court for the Central District of California, who dismissed charges against Rundo and Boman by noting that the federal government engaged in “selective prosecution” by arresting only conservative protestors. 

In his decision, Carney wrote that Antifa and other far-left groups were determined to suppress the events, observing that they arrived carrying weapons such as knives, pepper spray, homemade bombs, and fireworks, as proven by the prosecutors’ own evidence. 

The judge noted that out of the 20 individuals arrested during the April 2017 Berkeley rally, only the defendants and other members of RAM were charged under the Anti-Riot Act. No members of Antifa, BAMN, or other far-left groups faced these charges despite their involvement in violent activities aimed at shutting down the rally. 

Carney ruled that Rundo and Bomar successfully demonstrated “selective prosecution.” The government did not prosecute individuals from Antifa and other far-left groups who attended the same Trump rallies with the intent of violently shutting down protected political speech. These groups engaged in organized violence at the same rallies where the defendants were prosecuted for similar actions. 

“Most telling, in this case, is the government’s silence as to why it never pursued a case against a single member of Antifa or related far-left groups with respect to their violent conduct at pro-Trump events,” Carney wrote in his decision. 

In 2019, a court dismissed charges against Rundo and Boman, finding that the Anti-Riot Act violated the First Amendment. This decision was overturned on appeal, and Rundo was extradited from Romania to stand trial. Following Carney’s ruling, federal prosecutors claimed Rundo was a flight risk and filed to have him arrested and held without bail pending an appeal. 

Federal prosecutors have no intention of letting pro-Trump supporters walk free, and their rabid targeting of conservatives for the crime of being conservative was on full display years before January 6. Judges like Carney offer hope, proving that reason and fairness can prevail, even in California.