AMAC Exclusive – By Shane Harris
A trio of far-left prosecutors in Virginia backed by liberal billionaire George Soros – all of whom face reelection this year – are encountering mounting criticism amid an onslaught of scandals and repeated instances of blatant incompetence that have allowed violent criminals off the hook and undermined public confidence in their offices.
Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano, Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj, and Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti all received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Soros-linked funds when they first ran for election in 2019. In recent years, the liberal megadonor has helped install disciples of the far-left criminal justice “reform” movement like Descano, Biberaj, and Dehghani-Tafti in dozens of district attorney offices throughout the country.
Controversy has followed the three throughout their tenures, particularly as high-profile cases end in seemingly light sentences for perpetrators. Just this week, Descano ignited a local media firestorm when his office dropped all nine felony counts against Troy Reynolds, a man police say crashed a school bus with 44 kindergarteners on board into a ditch while under the influence of alcohol.
Critics are accusing Descano of botching his prosecution of the case – a charge he has become all too familiar with over the past four years. Last December, a Virginia mom sued the Fairfax County DA’s office after Descano missed a court filing deadline to overturn evidence, allowing a man who sexually assaulted an 11-year-old boy to escape with a misdemeanor assault and battery charge. The offender was released on time served.
Descano has been embroiled in another controversy since January over his use of an app which deletes messages to communicate with his staff. According to some sources, Descano used the app to specifically avoid FOIA requests – an act that would be a violation of Virginia law.
A number of Descano’s prosecutorial decisions throughout his time in office have drawn scrutiny as well. In one case early in his tenure, Descano charged an officer with excessive force for defending himself with a taser against a man high on PCP. A jury deliberated for just a few minutes before finding the officer not guilty – after a judge faulted Descano’s office for withholding key evidence in the trial for over a year.
Descano was also rebuked by a federal judge over his decision to offer a shockingly lenient plea deal of just 17 years for a man charged with repeatedly sexually abusing a younger relative. The deal was so egregious that the judge in the case told the victim “your government has failed you.”
In other instances, Descano has allowed a man suspected of killing two people and convicted of abducting a third to walk free on misdemeanor charges, offered a sweetheart deal to a man charged with firing a gun into a crowded bar, freed a violent criminal who later killed a homeless woman, and told prosecutors under him “don’t listen to victims” because they are “overly dramatic.”
As explanation for these seemingly unconscionable betrayals of crime victims, Descano has said that he is working to build a “more equitable” criminal justice system – a favorite line of Soros prosecutors who flatly refuse to enforce the law.
Biberaj, meanwhile, has faced controversy of her own recently following revelations that she used official funds to obtain information about her personal and political opponents. Biberaj reportedly spent more than $19,000 of county money on Freedom of Information Act requests targeting her longtime foes at the Loudoun County Supervisor’s office and even journalists who have been critical of her.
Ironically, Biberaj has also cited a lack of resources as reason for an announcement in January that her office would no longer be prosecuting a number of misdemeanor crimes, including reckless driving, petty theft, and hit and runs.
The announcement led to a hearing before the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors to decide whether to transfer three vacant positions in Biberaj’s office to the Loudoun County Attorney’s office to maintain full prosecution of misdemeanor crimes. The Democrat-majority panel ultimately decided to allow Biberaj to keep her funding, but a heated exchange between Biberaj and Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall indicated that even some Democrats in Virginia have grown tired of Biberaj’s radicalism and prickly personality.
Biberaj also has a history of prosecutorial decisions that appear politically motivated. The most notable case is her treatment of Scott Smith, a father whose daughter was raped at a Loudoun County high school.
The story drew national attention two years ago after a Daily Wire report revealed that the rapist, a biological male who identified as a female and was allowed to use female restrooms, was transferred to another Loudoun County high school after the rape, where he sexually assaulted a second girl.
Smith was arrested at a school board meeting where he demanded answers from Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Ziegler, who falsely claimed that the district had “no record” of any assaults in its bathrooms.
But instead of working with Smith to get justice for his daughter, Biberaj – who ran on a platform of ending “mass incarceration” – aggressively prosecuted Smith, working to put him in jail for misdemeanor charges.
Dehghani-Tafti has largely avoided major scandals like those facing Descano and Biberaj, but has nonetheless earned public ire through her callous disregard for public safety. Last June, for instance, Dehgahni-Tafti worked with Descano to free a serial looter who committed multiple grand larcenies and assaulted a police officer.
A month later, a man let out of jail early thanks to prosecutorial misconduct by Dehghani-Tafti’s office killed two construction workers in Alexandria. In another case from 2020, Dehgahni-Tafti dropped all charges against a man who tried to rob a vape shop – then prosecuted a store employee who defended the business with a firearm.
As a result of these failures and many others, Dehghani-Tafti has been subject to an ongoing recall effort – particularly after news that crimes like felony assault rose 40% throughout her first year in office. However, with an election looming in November, the recall proponents have a new opportunity to defeat Dehghani-Tafti at the ballot box.
Even in reliably blue northern Virginia and with backing from Soros-linked funds, Descano, Biberaj, and Dehghani-Tafti each face a real threat of losing re-election this fall, with all three looking at tough primary challenges.
If any of the three lose primary battles – or if they are ousted by Republican challengers in the fall – it would be a sure sign that, even in liberal enclaves, Americans have had enough of the perverse vision of justice put forth by the left.
Shane Harris is a writer and political consultant from southwest Ohio. You can follow him on Twitter @Shane_Harris_.