The latest contestant on our hit parade of January 6 riot participants being sent to prison comes to us from Tennessee. 38-year-old Matthew Bledsoe of Mississippi was found guilty this summer of one felony charge and four misdemeanors. This week he was sentenced to four years in prison. The felony charge dropped on Bledsoe was the same that prosecutors in many other cases have defaulted to: “Obstruction of an Official Proceeding.” The misdemeanors were also typical of these show trials. Of course, the only actual actions that prosecutors could pin on Bledsoe involved scaling a wall and being inside the building for approximately 22 minutes. (Associated Press)
A Tennessee business owner who scaled a wall outside the U.S. Capitol was sentenced Friday to four years in prison after he was convicted of five charges connected to the federal prosecutors said.
Matthew Bledsoe, 38, of Olive Branch, Mississippi, was found guilty in July of one felony — obstruction of an official proceeding — and four misdemeanors related to the Capitol breach, the Department of Justice said in a statement.
Federal prosecutors said Bledsoe was one of scores of people who forced their way into the Capitol as Congress met to certify President Joe Biden’s victory. Bledsoe illegally entered the Capitol grounds and scaled a wall to reach a fire door on the Senate side of the building.
For the record, Matthew Bledsoe has received a sentence more than twice as long as the two New York City attorneys who handed out Molotov cocktails during one of the BLM riots in New York in 2020 and literally firebombed a police squad car. Let that sink in for a bit.
So let’s get back to the full list of charges Mr. Bledsoe was hit with and what is known about what he really did. He was definitely guilty of “scaling a wall” on the outside of the Capitol complex. He was further guilty of entering a fire door that was intended to be used as an emergency exit. According to the full report from the Justice Department, a video shows that he also briefly “climbed a statue.” He walked around (I’m sorry… “paraded”) inside of the Capitol Building, including the corridor to the House Chamber and hallways. After approximately 22 minutes, he left.
That’s it. That’s the full extent of Matthew Bledsoe’s participation. The prosecution didn’t even suggest that he caused any property damage or participated in assaults on law enforcement. Bledsoe wasn’t even accused of stealing any souvenirs from his trip. He went inside, yelled a couple of protest slogans and he went home.
For this, he was charged with the aforementioned felony of “obstruction of an official proceeding.” He also took misdemeanor charges of:
- Entering and remaining in a restricted building
- Disorderly and disruptive conduct (two charges)
- And, of course, “parading” in a Capitol building
Matthew Bledsoe is only the latest among hundreds of people who have been convicted of what amounted to nothing more than trespassing after being left in jail awaiting trial with no chance of bail and have now been given sentences longer than those handed down to people convicted of attempted murder in many states today. If this sounds like equal treatment under the law to you, I would dearly love to see the color of the sky in the world where you live. It must be phenomenal.