Reps. Greene and Comer are planning a lawmaker visit to Jan. 6 defendants held in the D.C. jail
House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer, R.Ky., is working with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R.Ga. to arrange a trip for members to visit Jan.6 defendants being held in Washington, D.C. jail.
Trump supporters have painted those still in prison ahead of their trial for the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol as political prisoners being unfairly prosecuted. In a failed attempt to stop the counting of electoral votes that would have certified Joe Biden’s election, a mob of Trump supporters attacked the Capitol.
Thursday’s confirmation by Comer’s office of the planned trip was made, but he declined to give any further information. Politico first reported Greene’s effort, who is a member the House Oversight Committee.
Greene’s office didn’t respond to my request for comment.
Greene, Clay Higgins (Republican from Louisiana) sent a Thursday night letter to Mayor Muriel Bowser requesting information about January 6 detainees. They also requested documentation and asked Bowser for steps to allow a congressional delegation visit the jail to interview inmates.
A spokesperson for the office of the mayor did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Some of the defendants in jail for the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack claim that they are being held in inhumane conditions. They are also accused of being “force-fed” critical race theory and subject to “anti-white messaging” behind bars.
Greene, who supported Trump’s false claims about election fraud, has argued in court that no evidence exists to show she was involved in the Jan. 6 attack. She visited the jail in November 2021. Greene’s office claimed Jan. 6 defendants were being held in “atrocious and cramped” conditions. Her office also claimed “multiple common areas” where “reading materials that promoted the Nation of Islam” and “critical race theory” were located.
Bowser received a December 2021 email from Greene complaining that Jan. 6 defendants were “treated as subhuman” while in jail.
The letter states that Members of Congress were subject to a two-tiered justice system, in which January 6 defendants were treated categorically differently from the rest of the prison population. January 6 defendants claimed that they were subject to months of isolation, verbal abuse (e.g. called ‘white supremacists’), harassment and beatings by guards. They also reported being denied basic medical care, access to lawyers, communion, healthy diet, and religious services.
Nearly three dozen Jan.6 defendants in the jail requested to be transferred to Guantanamo Bay (Cuba) last year.
According to the defendants, the jail was described as having “medieval standards” and “hellacious” conditions that “insist on torturing its traumatized guests with.”
Jan. 6 detainees also claimed in their complaint that they were presented with critical race theory propaganda on tablets along with “reeducation propaganda” or “racially biased” information.