Matthew Perna, Political Prisoner, Hangs Himself

Perna
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On January 6, 2021, Matthew Perna walked through an open door in the U.S. Capitol. Two police officers manned the door. They appeared welcoming. For 20 minutes, Perna walked through the halls, took videos, and shouted “USA, USA.” Then he left.

Last Friday night, Perna went into his garage in little-town Pennsylvania and hung himself. Perna had become the victim of Joe Biden’s Justice Department and the FBI. He was hounded for a year, rejected by friends, lost his job, and was subjected to widespread ridicule. And he was on the cusp of receiving upward of six years in prison. All this for walking through an open door, not causing any damage, not threatening anyone, taking a few videos, and shouting patriotic slogans.

There is no other way to put this. Matthew Perna was a political prisoner. The FBI report shows that abundantly. The report notes ominously that he was wearing a “Make America Great Again” hoodie. He is seen on a video shouting “USA, USA.” Understand, these political acts are now crimes.

Two of his Facebook “friends” told the FBI Perna believed in “conspiracy theories;” which “conspiracy theories” we are never told. One of them told the FBI Perna “supported QAnon.”

The FBI drone helpfully explained that such people believe a global conspiracy led by “Satan-worshiping pedophiles” and that President Trump dedicated himself to stopping them. He also said that QAnon supporters believed “false and discredited theories of massive voter fraud” in the last election. These are now crimes, too.

Understand, this was based on assertions of people Perna might never have met but who cruised his Facebook page. One of them said he “had known Perna due to living in the same town and often saw Perna at a local business.” Oh yes, this person had seen on Facebook that Perna had purchased a handgun.

Did the crack FBI guy quote anything proving these assertions? Well, no. And anyway, where is the crime in believing global conspiracies, owning a handgun, or believing the 2020 election was fraudulent? Could it be these are new political crimes the Justice Department can use to torture you for two years and possibly send you to prison? One of the more laughable “facts” stated by the FBI is that Perna “tapped on a window of the Capitol building with a metal pipe.” Did he break the window? No. He tapped on it. 

Perna faced years in prison for entering a “restricted” building. It was restricted because Vice President Pence and Vice President-elect Harris were in the building. But were they? Harris was actually at the Democratic National Committee headquarters a few blocks away. And it is unclear whether Pence was still in the building. The Secret Service is being cagey about his whereabouts. If neither were in the building when Perna entered, then it stands to reason the building was no longer “restricted.”

Perna faced years in prison for disrupting a government proceeding. Perna entered the building after the Congress went into recess. There were no proceedings to interrupt.

He faced years in prison for uttering “abusive language,” that is, shouting “USA, USA.” And he faced prison time for “parading.”

Perna pled to these charges. How could he not? No regular American can stand up to the might of the U.S. Justice Department. Inevitably, you must make a plea. He did. He expected a jail sentence. Any jail would have been an injustice. But he was expecting only a couple of months. And then it was revealed he could receive upward of six years because the vicious prosecutor named Matthew Graves was adding “enhancements” that could have led to six years in prison. Perna could take it no longer and hung himself.

Consider the unequal treatment Perna received compared to the rioters who burned American cities during the Summer of George Floyd.

Rioters laid siege to the Federal Courthouse in Portland, Oregon. They tried to burn it down. It goes without saying that the government processes in the courthouse were disrupted.

A mob laid siege to the White House. Hundreds of rioters tried to break down the fence protecting the White House. Dozens of federal officers were injured from getting hit with bottles of frozen water. It grew so dangerous that the Secret Service evacuated President Trump and his family to a safe room. The Left and the media laughed at Trump and this disruption of government.

Some will say this is nothing more than “whataboutism.” The charge of “whataboutism” is a call to shut down debate, to block any mention of unequal treatment before the law. Indeed, “whataboutism” is a call for justice. 

If Matthew Perna can be sent to jail for up to six years for simply walking into the Capitol Building and shouting “USA,” then where are all the six-year sentences for those who tried to burn down a federal courthouse? Where are the prison sentences for the rioters outside the White House? Where was the FBI’s “shock and awe” campaign to find all those people? There wasn’t one. In fact, they had a street in D.C. named after them, Black Lives Matter Plaza. It’s still there. Why is one side imprisoned for “parading” and the other sides skates after literally committing political arson? Politics, my boy, politics.

It very well could be that some of those who entered the Capitol did so with ill-intent. But the same net that captured those guys has also caught the innocent like antler man and this poor soul, Matthew Perna, who was hounded by the U.S. government for his political beliefs and now lies in a coffin waiting to be buried by his grieving family.

Something rotten has come to this country. We have every reason to be afraid of our own government.

[Image Credit: U.S. Justice Department/Getty Images]

By

Austin Ruse is a contributing editor to Crisis Magazine. His latest book, Under Siege: No Finer Time to be a Faithful Catholic, is now available from Crisis Publications.

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