By John Friend
Yet another persecuted Jan. 6 protester has committed suicide. Mark Aungst, 47, took his life on July 20, nearly one month after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of demonstrating or parading in a restricted building, a federal charge pursued by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Lee M. Furst that carries a potential jail sentence of six months imprisonment or five years’ probation, along with a $5,000 fine.
Aungst, who lived in South Williamsport, Penn., and his co-defendant Tammy Bronsburg, who lived in Williamsport, Penn., each pleaded guilty to the demonstrating or parading in a restricted building charge on June 27. District of Columbia Judge Reggie B. Walton set their sentencing hearing for Sept. 27.
Aungst and Bronsburg traveled to Washington, D.C. along with other Trump supporters to attend the now-infamous Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally. Following former President Donald Trump’s speech that day, they marched to the U.S. Capitol with countless other Trump supporters to express their concerns with the results of the 2020 presidential election.
According to federal prosecutors, the pair entered the Capitol briefly through the Senate fire door at approximately 2:45 pm, leaving roughly 30 seconds later. They then re-entered the Capitol via the Senate wing door about 20 minutes later, taking photos and videos of themselves. Bronsburg uploaded at least one of the videos to her Facebook page according to prosecutors, while Aungst showed fellow rally goers and protesters photos he took after returning to the bus following the chaotic event.
Prosecutors pursued the charges despite admitting that neither Aungst nor Bronsburg stole or damaged property while in the Capitol. Neither of them assaulted law enforcement officers that day either.
Aungst, who regularly attended Messiah Lutheran Church, worked as a gas field well service technician. According to his obituary, he was “a loyal and dedicated man” who “showed tremendous pride for God and his country.” He leaves behind a daughter, who is currently expecting a baby, which would have made Aungst a grandfather.
Aungst is at least the second Jan. 6 protester to have committed suicide after severe persecution at the hands of malicious and highly biased federal prosecutors. Matthew Perna, a 37-year-old man also from Pennsylvania, took his life in February after being persecuted by federal authorities for his participation in the Jan. 6 protest. Perna, like Aungst and Bronsburg, also did not damage or steal property inside the Capitol and did not assault law enforcement officers that day.
WHILE CRIMINALS RUN AMOK …
While the Jan. 6 witch hunt continues unabated with prime-time media coverage of the Jan. 6 congressional hearings and endless persecution of largely peaceful and cooperative protesters who attended the rally, violent street criminals and far-left terrorists operate with impunity.
A video that has emerged from the New York City subway has sparked outrage in the Big Apple and across the country, as a 16-year-old black man violently assaults and fights with an officer. The young man jumped a turnstile to avoid paying the subway fee, was confronted by officers, and eventually began to fight with one of them, the video shows.
After being arrested and charged with assault on a police officer, obstruction of governmental administration, and resisting arrest, the teen was released on his own recognizance following a court appearance. According to the New York Post, the young man was previously arrested for possession of a loaded firearm and robbery on separate occasions, with each arrest resulting in his almost immediate release.
“If New Yorkers want to know why the chaos in the transit system is not improving more quickly—this is why,” Patrick Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association Union, said following the outrageous attack. “The criminals underground know they can get in a brawl, choke a cop and be back out in hours. Cops are putting ourselves on the line to make the subways safer, but we are feeling abandoned by a justice system that won’t back us up.”
In related news, a notorious far-left terrorist and rioter operating in Portland recently had federal charges dropped against her. As independent journalist Andy Ngo has extensively documented, far-left terrorists and rioters regularly have their charges dropped by prosecuting attorneys, including for violent assaults on law enforcement officers and damaging or destroying public property.
The politicization of the rule of law in the United States could not be clearer. Jan. 6 protesters and other conservative or right-leaning political dissidents are hounded and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, including for non-violent actions and peaceful protests, while violent street thugs and criminals and far-left terrorists continue their criminal mayhem with little to no consequences.
John Friend is a freelance author based in California.