Patrick Scruggs, a former Justice Department prosecutor, is now criticizing ‘double standards’ after being arrested for a road rage stabbing outside Tampa, following his role in the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot where he was photographed carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern. Scruggs, who spent ten years as an assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting federal crimes, found himself in jail this week after allegedly stabbing a man multiple times during a three-car crash on the Howard Frankland Bridge, west of Tampa, during Tuesday’s morning rush hour.
Contrasting Bail Experiences: Scruggs vs. Johnson
Johnson emphasized the importance of the presumption of innocence for both himself and Scruggs, despite arguing that he was denied that presumption due to the bail conditions requested by the former prosecutor during his own case. Scruggs faces charges of aggravated battery, aggravated assault, and armed burglary, all felonies. Surprisingly, Scruggs was able to post bail within 24 hours of his arrest without additional release conditions, even though he poses a clear threat to his community. He pointed out what he views as a double standard in bail conditions, stating, ‘What I will speak on are the double standards of the bail conditions.'”
In contrast, after spending a night in jail in 2021, Johnson claimed that he was required to surrender his passport and legal firearms, in addition to being subjected to a curfew, travel restrictions, GPS monitoring, and random drug testing, all at the request of Scruggs through the court. Although Johnson has completed his federal sentence of 75 days behind bars and a year of probation, he continues to grapple with the repercussions of serious charges stemming from his involvement in a viral photo that significantly impacted his legal case.
Scruggs’ Pretrial Release Conditions and Legal Counsel’s Response
Johnson, who had one semester left to complete his bachelor’s degree, took a break to raise his young children. Despite maintaining a strong academic record with a 3.7 GPA, he was initially denied reentry due to his probationary status. Although he has now completed his probation, he remains unable to secure readmission. It is blatantly clear to see that justice is no longer a double-edged sword, but a blunt instrument used by an authoritative regime,” in his words.
“Even before he pleaded guilty to the January 6 charges, Scruggs sought aggressive terms for his pretrial release. This was prior to the case moving from a federal court in Florida to Washington, D.C., where it was handled by a different prosecutor. While pointing out that the allegations against him did not involve violence or drugs, he recalled that ‘My crimes were so egregious that he demanded I wear an ankle monitor, be drug tested at random, surrender my passports, be restricted to the middle district of Florida, and given a nightly curfew.'”
“He said, ‘None of those circumstances apply to Mr. Scruggs, but there are a few other circumstances wherein a person could be held without bond.’ He clarified that the bond amounts set in his case were consistent with the uniform bond schedule established by the Pinellas County Circuit Court. Such bond amounts are commonly set in cases of this nature, particularly for individuals with no prior criminal history. Mr. Scruggs followed the standard procedure by posting the bond amounts determined by the authorities. Currently, we are actively collaborating with the state attorney in Pinellas County on various matters, including the establishment of the conditions for his release.
“Earlier this week, Nohlgren emphasized that his client was not responsible for the three-car crash that preceded the altercation. He stated, ‘There is much more to this incident than what is being reported, and we are diligently working to bring to light the full facts of what occurred.”