Julie Kelly on the Fallout from January 6th

CLAY: We bring in now Julie Kelly, who has been doing tremendous work helping to shine a light on the political prisoners of January 6. She wrote a book, January 6: How Democrats Used the Capitol Protests to Launch a War on Terror Against the Political Right. She has helped to raise money for the Patriot Freedom Project, an organization that I’m happy to have donated to, because they are helping to provide the best possible legal representation for many people who are still — still — under lock and key associated with January 6, many of whom have not yet even had their day in court, have not been tried for crimes. Let’s start there, Julie. Happy holidays. Merry Christmas. Happy New Year to everybody out there, including you. How many of these January 6th prisoners are still in solitary confinement, still have not been able to have a resolution of their charges? Where are we sitting right now as we prepare for 2023?

KELLY: Thanks so much for having me on, Clay, and thank you for your donation and support of the Patriot Freedom Project. As you said, it is one of the few funds raising money for lawyers and, more importantly, to support these families, these children whose lives have been completely destroyed, families bankrupted, businesses bankrupted by this retaliatory, vengeful persecution of the Department of Justice. So, thank you. The short answer, Clay, it’s very hard to track because, number one, you do certainly have people who are still awaiting trial and they are in jail.

For example, if jury selection starting this week in the trial — seditious conspiracy trial — for five Proud Boys not accused — only one accused of smashing a window. The other four are accused of no violent crime. Yet they have been incarcerated since January, February, March of 2021. Jury selection started this week. The trial, the actual opening arguments won’t even start until after the beginning of the new year. You certainly have other people who are awaiting trials who have been incarcerated for 18, 12 months as DOJ delays those trials intentionally to inflict more pain.

But the other thing is that this DOJ, this FBI are still arresting people every week. You have new defendants, new people who have been arrested and charged just this week, including for misdemeanor offenses. They are closing in on a thousand total defendants, and the DOJ has warned that they are going to look for a thousand more. Here we are almost two years later; they are still rounding up Trump supporters, destroying their lives, throwing them in prison and ruining their families. It’s really tragic.

CLAY: Do we know how many are in solitary? Because I know the last time we talked, there were still some of these defendants that were in solitary confinement associated with these charges.

KELLY: For the most part, they are in solitary kept in their cells, especially in the D.C. — what we call the D.C. — gulag. So it doesn’t matter where the defendants, where these people are arrested and charged, they’re being they are then transported or held in D.C. because, as you know, Clay, every single trial is happening in Washington, D.C. So that is DOJ and the judge’s justification for keeping them. I get different reports. You know, there is still this is happening in the D.C. jail. I’m getting really horrific reports of what’s happening in a Northern Virginia jail where some of the D.C. detainees were transferred to.

It doesn’t matter really what prison they’re in — and they’re in prisons across the country in indefinite incarceration — they are targeted, they are specifically mistreated. They’re kept away from their families. They’re kept away from their defense attorneys, which, of course, is a constitutional violation on top of the few other constitutional Bill of Rights violations. So I’ll tell you, I just get inundated with stories and it’s almost impossible to cover because there’s so much happening. And then, of course, you have people who are then convicted or take plea deals hoping that the torment will end, and they’re sentenced to years in prison on nonviolent felonies like obstruction of an official proceeding.

It’s just crazy. And the idea that anyone, any Republican in Congress would contemplate giving this Department of Justice a 10% raise, boosting their budget to over $38 billion, giving the FBI a $569 million raise, boosting their annual budget to over $11 billion a year for the first time? You know, this should be cut. This should not even be considered. And yet here you have Republican senators voting to advance the omnibus that would do just that. Give Merrick Garland and this vengeful DOJ — abusive DOJ — and corrupt FBI more money to target Americans on the right.

CLAY: How disappointed are you by how little opposition Republicans in Congress have made to these political prosecutions, and how disappointed are you over how little discussion there’s ever been about this? Because we’re talking about Democrats bailing out people who rioted all throughout the summer of 2020, blatantly and clearly advocating. For them to face no punishment virtually at all, and yet you have these people, many of whom are grandpas, grandmas, relatively nonviolent or completely nonviolent people who walked into the Capitol that are having the full force and might of the United States government thrown at them.

KELLY: I’m just disgusted. I mean, this Republican Party is such a disappointment, Clay, on so many levels. But when you cannot stand up and say, “This is wrong. You are violating the Constitution. This is political targeting of political dissidents. This is what we read about and hear about happening in other countries. This is not supposed to be happening in the United States.” Yes, those who committed violent crimes should obviously be prosecuted. But that’s not what’s happening here. This is a political targeting using the most powerful government agencies we have to crush people, and it’s really just terrifying.

And it is it is appalling that more Republicans are not speaking out. Will they actually proceed with the investigations to uncover a lot of what happened before and on January 6? We know it’s not coming out in the committee reports. They haven’t addressed any of the big questions Americans have. Why was the building and the grounds so intentionally left insecure that day? What happened to the pipe bomber? Where’s the 14,000 hours of surveillance video that would show what happened inside and outside the building that day? How many FBI informants actually were embedded?

We know for a fact, because of these trials, that there were numerous FBI informants in the two alleged militia groups, the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys. What were they doing? Why didn’t…? If they had all these assets spread out everywhere before and on January 6, why did this still happen? The committee report doesn’t address any of it, and that’s what’s lingering in a lot of people’s heads and minds. They suspect something really nefarious went down on January 6 and it wasn’t because of the guy wearing the horns or the Indiana meemaw who walked in and took selfies.

CLAY: We’re talking to Julie Kelly, who has been fighting so hard on behalf of the January 6th “political prisoners,” I think it’s fair to call many of them. Julie, you predicted and said on this show for a while that you think Donald Trump is going to be charged by this Department of Justice. The January 6th sham committee has now released their findings. What do you think is going to happen? Do you think it will happen when in 2023? How would you play out where the DOJ is going next?

KELLY: You know, it’s hard to say now because of the special counsel — which of course, is a ruse, Clay. There is no special counsel. He’s not even in the country. This is just to give a head fake that this is now an independent investigation when all DOJ is doing is moving the same prosecutors and investigators who’ve been working on this case — all January 6 investigations since the beginning, moving them over — to the special counsel’s office. There’s nothing independent about it whatsoever. So I you know, they’re already investigating Donald Trump. So it’s not like the committee had to make these referrals, the four referrals.

I think the committee did it in sort of a save-face measure to look like they’d actually produce something besides the ridiculous report that blamed Donald Trump for everything. But look, we’ve talked about this. I feel very strongly convinced DOJ will indict him on two of the four criminal referrals that came out of the committee, which was obstruction of an official proceeding and conspiracy. I’ve suggested for months that I think those are the two counts that this DOJ will come up with. And I. As far as timing, though, I don’t know. Whenever they think they can get the maximum political benefit of it. They will have no trouble getting a D.C. grand jury to sign off on criminal indictments against Donald Trump.

CLAY: But can I discuss this, Julie? And I don’t know what you would say on this. I feel like Democrats are desperate for Donald Trump to be the nominee in 2024, because I think they want Biden to run against Trump again. Do you think that it would benefit Donald Trump to be indicted in terms of winning the Republican nomination or hinder him, hurt him to be indicted? I don’t know that there’s an easy answer, but the reason why I would ask it, Julie, is the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago definitely helped Trump.

That has many people out there who otherwise might not think he’s the best nominee lined up and said, “This is an unacceptable governmental overreach. Even if I don’t agree with Trump on everything, the FBI shouldn’t be storming the gates of Mar-a-Lago and raiding a former president’s home when he’s a top contender to take on Joe Biden in that election.” How do you think it would play politically if Trump were indicted?

KELLY: That’s such a good question, and I do have a lot of people tell me that they think that they’re doing this to strengthen Trump and make him the nominee and have him run against Biden. The comments, the public comments, though, kind of run afoul of that. They think that especially the insurrection, that he would be precluded by the 14th Amendment then from running for office ever again. So, I’m not really sure the political calculation there. I just really think it’s more a, “Will this backfire?” I think it definitely will for the Republican Party because they’re going to continue to see Trump as the guy — the only guy left, really — who could take on this vicious ruling class and what they’re doing.

Not just to him, but to hundreds of thousands of Americans, what they want to do to all of us, really. So I’m not really sure the political calculation of it. But look, Democrats have told their base that they are going to get Donald Trump in handcuffs. They’ve been telling them that for the better part of seven years. And they want that imagery, right? They wanted for their base. They think it bolsters their party, and I think that they think it will humiliate Donald Trump and preclude him from running. So, I’m not really sure where I land on it. The Democrats want him to run or do they really want to destroy him or both? I’m not sure.

CLAY: By the way, breaking news: The Senate has passed the $1.7 trillion omnibus bill.


CLAY: So if you thought Republicans were going to stand up against this huge overreach — as you mentioned, Julie, 10% raise for the DOJ, the $38 billion; the FBI, over $11 billion. I think I got those numbers right when you were discussing with me.

KELLY: Mmm-hmm.

CLAY: So, 68 to 29, it passed.

KELLY: Oh wow.

CLAY: Not even remotely close. Tons of Republicans voted in favor of this Democrat bill. So if you think they’re going to stand up for the January 6 political prisoners? Julie, they won’t even bother to stand up to the Democrat Party in the Senate itself.

KELLY: Well, there’s really no difference — you know this, Clay — between Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats. I mean, look at the leader of the party, Mitch McConnell. He’s a complete embarrassment. He is the biggest booster of what’s happening in Ukraine, forking over billions of more dollars to Zelensky. And, you know, there’s just no more… Where you have a handful who say the right thing. But look, when you’ve got… Did you say 68 to 29?

CLAY: Yeah, 68 to 29 is the report that I’m seeing online right now on Twitter. It literally just happened.

KELLY: 18 Republicans then because you assume every Democrat voted for it. So you’ve got 18 Republicans who voted. You had 21 who voted Tuesday to advance this omnibus bill. I’m not sure who dropped off. Maybe Marco Rubio or Tommy Tuberville. Those were a couple names that kind of surprised me. But this is just an absolute disgrace. This party is an embarrassment. It needs to be routed from the top to the bottom, and I’m just not sure how we do it, though.

CLAY: No doubt. Julie, you had a fabulous 2022. Thanks for all the work that you have done. I’m sure that we will be talking to you in 2023. Have a good Christmas and a fantastic New Year until then and keep up the good work.

KELLY: You too. Have great trip to Park City. Love that place.

CLAY: (laughing) I’m looking forward to. It is pretty fabulous. Thank you.