In a contentious exchange during Tuesday’s oversight hearing, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) called out Washington, D.C. U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves over the January 6th prosecutions, raising concerns about political persecutions and the severe sentencing faced by some defendants.
Biggs focused on the case of Thomas Caldwell, a 70-year-old decorated disabled Navy veteran, who was not charged with any violent crime related to the Capitol breach, but given a 14-year sentencing.
Biggs questioned the decision to add a seditious conspiracy charge to Caldwell’s case after Graves took office, despite the absence of evidence suggesting his involvement in any violent acts or entering the Capitol building. Caldwell was ultimately convicted of one obstruction count and one charge of tampering with evidence.
“What troubles me is that you seek a 14-year prison sentence for a 70-year-old man who did not commit a crime of violence on that day,” Biggs passionately argued during the hearing, emphasizing that such a harsh sentence will potentially be a “death sentence” for Caldwell.
In response, Graves smugly cited ongoing “ethical rules” and “department guidance” that limited his ability to discuss specific details about the case. However, he acknowledged Caldwell’s pending sentencing and declined to comment on the appropriateness of the proposed sentence.
Representative Biggs voiced his frustration with the prosecutor’s response, urging him to address why he sought such a lengthy prison term for a non-violent offender who had served his country honorably. Biggs emphasized that the sentencing phase is not part of an active investigation and, therefore, should be open to scrutiny and public discourse.
The exchange between Biggs and the Graves showcases the broader concerns raised by lawmakers and advocates regarding potential political biases and the heavy-handed approach taken in some January 6th cases. Many Americans know that the severity of some of these offenses has undermined the principles of our judicial system.
Graves is not 'honorable' in any way, shape or form.
— Decentralized D.C.! (@Albert__Priada) May 16, 2023
the prosecutor should get a death sentence for his crimes of prosecutorial misconduct
— J G (@mrbig4575) May 16, 2023
What a POS thar Graves guy is wow!!!!
— LiLi (@Gone2theBeach) May 16, 2023
These people are scum
— Just Looking Around (@Ralley12345) May 16, 2023