by Julie Kelly
Paul Hodgkins, according to Joe Biden’s Justice Department, is a domestic terrorist.
A working-class man from Tampa, Hodgkins committed what Democrats and the media consider a murderous crime comparable to flying a packed jetliner into a skyscraper or detonating a truck filled with explosives under a crowded federal building.
Paul Hodgkins entered the Capitol building on January 6, 2021.
What exactly did Hodgkins do on that day of infamy? He followed a group of like-minded Donald Trump supporters into the hallowed halls and chambers of the U.S. Senate. In that sacred space, where people far more important and educated than poor Hodgkins, according to those very important and very educated senators, make speeches and whatnot. Hodgkins, a crane operator, traveled alone by bus from central Florida to Washington—he was not chauffeured into the nation’s capital in a black SUV and detail team in the way that very important senators roll into town.
When he entered the sacred Senate chambers, Hodgkins carried with him a weapon so offensive that the mere sight of the device prompted the judge in his case to question Hodgkin’s loyalty to his own country. That weapon was a flag bearing the words “Trump 2020.”
Although Hodgkins did not commit a single violent act on January 6, federal prosecutors nonetheless consider him a domestic terrorist and want him punished accordingly.
“The need to deter others is especially strong in cases involving domestic terrorism, which the breach of the Capitol certainly was,” a prosecutor wrote in a July sentencing motion, asking a judge to send Hodgkins to prison for 18 months after he pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction. “Moreover, with respect to specific deterrence, courts have recognized that ‘terrorists[,] [even those] with no prior criminal behavior, are unique among criminals in the likelihood of recidivism, the difficulty of rehabilitation, and the need for incapacitation.’”
Judge Randolph Moss agreed with the Justice Department’s assessment. The Obama appointee claimed the four-hour disturbance at the Capitol on January 6 caused political and personal damage that “will persist in this country for decades.” Moss was outraged at the sight of Hodgkins hoisting a Trump flag. “The symbolism of that act is unmistakable. He was staking a claim on the Senate floor, declaring his loyalty to a single individual over a nation,” Moss ranted before sentencing Hodgkins to serve 15 months in jail.
Biden’s Justice Department just announced a new effort to keep the country safe from Hodgkins-type copy-cat criminals. During a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Matthew Olsen, head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, confirmed the formation of a domestic terrorism unit within the very agency established in 2006 to coordinate government efforts to fight foreign threats during the first war on terror.
“This group of dedicated attorneys will focus on the domestic terrorism threat, helping ensure these cases are handled properly and effectively coordinated across the Department of Justice and across the country,” Olsen told the committee.
To justify his unauthorized decision—after all, the NSD itself was formed not by administrative decree but by the U.S. Congress under the USA Patriot Act—Olsen claimed the number of domestic terrorism cases under investigation by the FBI “has more than doubled” since March 2020.
Now, precisely what those cases involve is anyone’s guess. Neither Olsen nor Jill Sanborn, the FBI official who also testified Tuesday, would offer specific examples or data to support that claim. Olsen also admitted no “domestic terror” statute is on the books—but why let a little technicality like the law get in the way of the regime’s punitive prosecution of political wrongthink?
The truth, of course, is we are all domestic terrorists now. Whether one carries the wrong flag or posts the wrong meme on social media or supports the wrong approach to the pandemic, the Biden regime, a woefully unpopular yet increasingly zealous cabal, will use every tool of the state, lawful and unlawful, to retaliate. It is the proud legacy of Marxism, raging leader and all.
As I detail in my new book, January 6: How Democrats Used the Capitol Protest to Launch a War on Terror Against the Political Right, the Biden regime wasted no time exploiting the brief chaos that resulted in the deaths not of government officials but of four Trump supporters to pursue the Democrats’ long-sought political goal of silencing and criminalizing dissent.
Everyone from Fox News hosts to parents protesting radical policies at tax-funded school districts meets the Left’s broad definition of “domestic terrorist.” Lawmakers opposed to nationalized election legislation intended to codify the illegitimate 2020 presidential election also fit the profile of “domestic terrorist.”
This even includes Biden’s political cronies in the Republican Party. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)—who insisted the 2020 election was on the square, called election skepticism the “Big Lie,” and accused Capitol protesters of committing an act of “terrorism” on January 6—is on the Biden regime’s most wanted domestic terror list for thwarting the Democratic Party’s unconstitutional power grab of state election authority. “He compared . . . a bipartisan majority of senators to literal traitors,” McConnell said on Wednesday of his longtime former Senate colleague.
McConnell expressed great offense at Biden’s description of him as a “domestic enemy,” serving as an historical reminder that even the most obsequious and compliant toady won’t be spared the vengeful reach of the Biden regime’s rule.
There is no national security threat posed by voters and lawmakers on the Right. To the contrary, most Americans view leftist activists who attempted to burn down the country in 2020 at the behest and bank accounts of Democratic Party leaders as a far greater danger to the American way of life than a furry shaman or even alleged (unarmed) militia members. Ditto for potential terrorists from “special interest” countries poring into the country from Mexico, a threat neither Olsen nor Sanborn would address, since neither recently has traveled to the border.
But facts don’t matter, only the pursuit of power. Whether it’s Paul Hodgkins or Mitch McConnell, this bloodthirsty regime, out of favor with Americans and with time running out on its unilateral control of the federal government, considers all detractors an enemy of the country.
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Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. She is the author of January 6: How Democrats Used the Capitol Protest to Launch a War on Terror Against the Political Right and Disloyal Opposition: How the NeverTrump Right Tried―And Failed―To Take Down the President. Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review. She also has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, and Genetic Literacy Project. She is the co-host of the “Happy Hour Podcast with Julie and Liz.” She is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and lives in suburban Chicago with her husband and two daughters.
Photo “protesting” by GoToVan CC BY 2.0.