A new report from House Republicans put a spotlight on the cruel treatment of the January 6th prisoners who are still awaiting trial, none of whom have been charged with insurrection. The report cites, among other things, detention without court dates or bail, no family visits, and intentional abuse by prison guards C-SPAN Gateway Pundit
Before detailing the abuses further, first, a little perspective. The charges against these prisoners are things like trespass, assault on a police officer, and obstruction of official proceedings. None of this amounts to insurrection, despite the Democrats’ robotic and ubiquitous incantations of the term. Prosecutors haven’t charged insurrection because they know they can’t make a case for it.
When I was a criminal defense attorney, a charge like trespass for first offenders would have been handled completely differently. There would have been a chance of first offender treatment whereby, if certain conditions were met, the charge would be dropped and the record expunged. If not first offender treatment, the defendant would have been granted release on their own recognizance or small bond, probably pled guilty, and been sentenced to probation and a fine. To keep a first offender in jail on a minor charge for almost a year without a finding of guilt or even a court date would have been unthinkable. The way the January 6th cases are being handled is crazy, and the only reason is politics.
Back to the abuses: A congressional delegation toured the facility where the prisoners still awaiting trial are being held and talked to them. The delegation heard stories of broken toilets, prison guards mocking prisoners as members of a cult and telling them to denounce Trump, not being fed properly, not being allowed religious services, being denied medical treatment or even haircuts, not getting their mail on a regular basis, being confined to their cells most of the day, and not being allowed to talk to their attorneys.
This is America? No, this is more like the Star Chamber of Merry Olde England, where the King used criminal process to control his political enemies. [Criminal Evidence: Principles and Cases by Thomas J. Gardner, Terry M. Anderson, p. 175]. Constitutional rights and due process were thrown out the window. What is happening to the January 6th prisoners is starting to look like indefinite detention, which is a big constitutional no-no. Why don’t we just cut to the chase and put them on the rack until they denounce Trump and admit they conspired with him to overthrow the U.S. government?
The Democrats want to paint these prisoners as insurrectionists, committed revolutionaries who conspired to take down the whole system. Stupid wahoos who didn’t know what their goal was or how to achieve it, but were just upset, is more like it Anybody like me who has tried to organize anything will tell you the grassroots political Right is completely incapable of pulling together anything as complicated as overthrowing a government. Heck, we organizers have a hard enough time getting people to write to Congress on important issues. Don’t tell me this was a planned insurrection. I don’t believe you. Twelve years of trying to herd cats on the political Right tells me otherwise.
So how about a little justice for the January 6th prisoners whose cases have not yet been resolved? Why not let them see their families? Why not grant them bail? Why not give them court dates and get on with it? If there’s an insurrection here, it’s by the Democrats who have turned this whole thing into a big circus to persecute their political enemies, and who are stomping all over these prisoners and the Constitution in the process.