Jan 6 political prisoner James McGrew
By Kelly Wilde
The all too familiar story of an ungrateful oligarchy sicking its rabid prosecutorial arm on American citizens with the voracity of Michael Vick strikes at the heart of the story of James McGrew—a 39-year-old Marine Corps Lance Corporal and Iraqi War veteran from Mississippi who had been counseling addicts to recovery, and finally surmounting his own, when the FBI arrested him at his sister’s Arizona home in May for rallying at the Capitol four months earlier on January 6th.
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James McGrew is a true patriot who gave four years of his life to serve his country. Yet, he has been held without bond, denied adequate medical attention, and kept from his two sons, ages 6 and 16. Despite the life-changing injuries and the rights violations he has endured for months, he loves America. He wrote:
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The very government who I fought to defend from terrorism and extremist ideology has placed me on a watch list, called me a domestic terrorist and much more. You want to talk about the worst thing you can do to a combat veteran, a marine with undying love for his country. It truly hurts my heart and bruised my soul. It’s my love and Fatih in God that allows for me to forgive them and it’s God’s love for me that heals all wounds.
I love my country. I have not lost faith in our democracy. I believe in the right of all people to be treated equal and fair.
Like all others with a love of country so deeply embedded, McGrew found himself compelled to Washington D.C. that fateful day. What happened as a result of it a United States Marine veteran would never believe. Four months later, McGrew would be facing 7 highly refutable charges and treated like a terrorist-held without bond in DC’s jail by all appearances indefinitely.
Eight months later, zealous prosecutorial aggression and patent falsification of information are not only ruining this country’s justice system. They are ruining this man’s life.
Judge Beryl Howell’s bond denial—which contains completely false information accusing McGrew of nonexistent and untrue parole violations as grounds for pre-trial detention—states that McGrew’s shouts of “Lock arms!” and “Leave!” were evidence of his “leadership role” in the events of that day.
Other court documents show that the prosecutor’s false claims, once questioned, had to be immediately redacted. In fact, the prosecutor had so clearly not watched the video she alleged as the basis of several charges against the defendant, that she had to skillfully elude the court’s direction questioning on the matter. Hardly the arbiter of justice.
Judge Howell directly acknowledged that there were several “points of disagreement” concerning “whether the defendant actually” committed the accused crimes—including not being able to see whether they even occurred and not being able to identify what officer may have been involved.
Almost comically, Howell’s order states that after he was sprayed in the face by a chemical agent, pushing away the source of whatever was in front of him, McGrew caught a police officer’s baton. The judge stated that “the defendant did immediately hand the baton back to the officer, prompting a response of ‘thank you” and it was unclear whether the officer “merely lost his grip on it.” What a polite revolutionary.
There are no grounds for jockeying from the bench—prosecutorial embellishments, false information, and fuzzy questionable evidence notwithstanding. But with increasing evidence of the harsh mistreatment, inadequate nutrition, and withholding of medical care of the Jan 6 DC jail hostages—the matter of McGrew’s pretrial detention is even more severe.
Just four days before his arrest, McGrew had returned home from 12 days in the ICU, including 10 days on life-support stemming from complete renal failure, after a heart-wrenching episode that had his mother wondering if she would be finding him dead.
In desperation, after months of rights violations and her son languishing in untreated pain, she contacted the American Civil Liberties Union. Her pleas were met with two cold responses.
ACLU paralegal Elaine Stamp wrote, “My supervisor had an opportunity to review what you’d shared with me and has determined that we, unfortunately, cannot help you.”
Another ACLU member services associate replied, “We only accept cases with the greatest potential to set legal precedents for the preservation or advancement of civil liberties. Unfortunately… we cannot provide legal assistance.”
McGrew’s hospitalization caused severe nerve damage that has been ignored and exacerbated by the DC jail. The government admits that his need for ongoing medical care “deserves respect,” and knows the D.C. jail has been withholding medical treatment from prisoners, as was brought to the court’s attention in the matter of Christopher Worrell. Is this how we treat our veterans?
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It goes without saying that McGrew is no stranger to pain.
While on a combat tour in Iraq, McGrew was in such close proximity to an IED explosion that his brain began to bleed from his ears. The near-total hearing loss and traumatic brain injury that resulted after five surgeries would be a far-off reality, as on the front lines of combat and brave as a Marine could ever be, McGrew was pumped with morphine and returned to battle.
The excessive use of potent opiate analgesics and severe injuries would alter his life, and McGrew would finally find meaning and balance after almost a decade of difficult reentry in holding a torch for others on a similarly hellacious journey. He was attending Palomar College in California, working toward his counseling degree studying to become a drug and alcohol counselor, when the government turned its full wrath and power against him.
Like every great and brave Marine, surviving the unthinkable not only to tell the tale of it but with a patriotic heart intact, McGrew is making the most of the days on earth in the same way he hoped to previously: offering health-giving humor and his sincere care to the men he suffers alongside like the friendly counselor he was in the process of becoming.
His counsel from inside harsh lockdown conditions took form as an exploration in animal psychology, a story he calls Animals From Within.
“I knew I wanted to give America a personable, funnier, lighter look into the hearts and minds of the J6 Political Prisoners whom I have the honor of calling my friends and family. You may also know them as your friends and family, as we are all members of America’s oldest and newest extended Patriotic Family,” McGrew told Gateway Pundit.