The judge also rejected Griffin’s technical arguments about the federal trespassing statutes that the Justice Department used to prosecute him and hundreds of other riot suspects. The ruling could influence other judges who are considering similar challenges regarding the trespassing law.
In a written ruling, McFadden said Griffin “comes up short on providing the ‘clear evidence’ required” to demonstrate that he had been improperly charged because of his political beliefs. The judge also said there are legitimate reasons why the Justice Department would want to prosecute Griffin, even though other rioters who were near him haven’t been charged yet.
“(Prosecutors) could rationally forgo federal prosecution as to most trespassers while deciding that Griffin’s leadership role in the crowd, position as an elected official, and more blatant conduct at the scene merited him different treatment,” McFadden wrote in his 14-page ruling.
“This is not a basis to dismiss the charges,” McFadden wrote, though he added that he could consider Griffin’s comparisons with the Kavanaugh protesters if Griffin’s case reaches sentencing.
The Justice Department charged Griffin in January, before Trump left office. Prosecutors wanted to keep him in jail before trial, arguing that he is too dangerous and citing his past comments that “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.” He was released in February. Griffin has pleaded not guilty.
On January 6, he climbed up a wall and breached the Capitol’s patio, near the staging that was being prepared for President Joe Biden’s inauguration. Griffin is not accused of entering the Capitol, but it’s still illegal to breach the restricted area around the Capitol complex.