Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Patriot Front Leader Arrested for Marching w/ Torch at Charlottesville in 2017

'The arrest comes after a nearly 7-year witch hunt by politically motivated prosecutors, stemming from the events that transpired at the Unite the Right rally in 2017...'

(Ken Silva, Headline USA) Patriot Front leader Thomas Rousseau, who more than six years ago participated in the infamous 2017 torch march in Charlottesville, Virginia, has been charged with a little-used law that makes it a crime to burn objects with intent to intimidate.

The white nationalist group announced Rousseau’s arrest Sunday on Telegram.

“The arrest comes after a nearly 7-year witch hunt by politically motivated prosecutors, stemming from the events that transpired at the Unite the Right rally in 2017,” the group said.

Documentarian Ford Fischer recirculated footage he took of Rousseau nearly seven years ago at Charlottesville.

Rousseau marks the latest in a string of arrests of the Charlottesville torch marchers that began last year.

The previous Charlottesville D.A., Robert Tracci, had declined to press charges. But his replacement, the Soros-backed Charlottesville district attorney, Jim Hingeley, made it a campaign promise to prosecute torch-carriers, and there is no statute of limitations for felonies in Virginia.

Of the handful of torch-marchers to be charged by Hingeley’s office, four of them have been convicted and two sentenced to six-month jail stints. At least four other defendants could have trials this year.

Rousseau and Charlottesville

When he marched at Charlottesville in 2017, Rousseau was a member of Vanguard America, a white nationalist organization that was partner of a larger coalition called the Nationalist Front. Other groups in the Nationalist Front included the National Socialist Movement and the League of the South—the former being an FBI front group, and the latter also being deeply infiltrated by the FBI.

Vanguard America is also the group James Alex Fields Jr. was seen with the night after the torch march. Later that day, Fields would drive his car into a crowd of counter-protestors, killing Heather Heyer and injuring several others.

Vanguard America has since mutated into the Patriot Front under Rousseau’s leadership.

Rousseau recently just had charges dropped against him in a conspiracy to riot case in Idaho.

The judge’s dismissal stems from the incident in June 2022, when 31 members of the right-wing nationalist group were arrested after someone reported seeing people loading into a U-Haul van like “a little army” at a hotel parking lot in Coeur d’Alene. The members were accused of planning to riot at a nearby LGBT event.

Five of the Patriot Front defendants were convicted of misdemeanor charges of conspiracy to riot last July. However, a judge began tossing the prosecutions a month later after finding that the government had acted in “bad faith.”

“The State has engaged in bad faith in its dilatory disclosures, non-disclosures, failure to comply with Court Orders, failure to appear in Court when required, all the while insisting it has provided everything to Defense Counsel and is prepared for trial,” the judge said last August.

The Patriot Front members convicted from Idaho have filed appeals.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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