Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene held a press conference on Tuesday along with Congressmen Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert and Paul Gosar. The four discussed conditions at the Washington D.C. jail for the Jan. 6 defendants. And what they uncovered was not pretty.
“Unusually cruel,” Greene said. “That’s the title that we gave this report, because this is the treatment that we found of the pretrial Jan. 6 defendants being held right here in Washington D.C. in the jail.”
Greene, who issued the 28-page report, said she and her colleagues had tried “many times” to get into the jail to take a tour but they had been shut out by Deputy Warden Kathleen Landerkin.
“As a matter of fact, she’d locked us out before and it was clear that there was a lot to hide,” Greene said. “Right now what we have happening in America is a two-tier justice system.”
In the summer of 2020, Greene said, there was somewhere around 7,750 to more than 10,000 BLM demonstrations.
“According to the press, approximately six percent of them were violent,” Greene said. “That’s 570 riots if you do the math there.”
But only one riot took place at the Capitol on Jan. 6, she added.
“What we have seen unfold has been unbelievable,” Greene stated. “It is a two-tier justice system.”
More than 90 percent of the Antifa/BLM rioters have been released from jail and charges have been dropped.
“We know that in cities across America, there have been over $2 billion in damage, but here at the Capitol on Jan. 6 it’s approximately $1.5 million,” Greene said. “There’s a clear difference. But yet we have a Jan. 6 Committee that Nancy Pelosi is leading that is nothing but a political witchhunt on Republicans and Trump supporters all across America and anyone that was at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“What’s happening to these people being held in custody is wrong, it’s unconstitutional, it’s a violation of their rights and it is an abuse that I call on every single member of Congress to start paying attention to. We need investigations. It’s outrageous.”
Greene said all Americans should be “appalled” at the situation.
“This jail in Washington D.C. has been known, it’s hard many reports of being a despicable place as early as 1976,” she said.
She cited a district court judge who ruled conditions inside the jail violated the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. In 2015, a report filed showed the jail was plagued by mold, vermin and water leaks. In 2016, the jail had to move 200 inmates due to excessive heat. In November of 2021, the Marshal Service found the CDF to be inhospitable.
“But yet people are still being housed there,” she said. “The Jan. 6 defendants are being treated differently on a whole other level. They have been beaten by the guards. They are called white supremacists. They are denied religious services, haircuts, shaving, the ability to trim their fingernails. There are more outrageous things happening there. They’re denied time with their attorneys. They are denied the ability to even see their families and have their families visit there. They are denied bail and being held there without bail. Many of these people have never been charged for a crime before. Some of them are veterans and the treatment is unbelievable.”
Greene said the prisoners are being told they have to denounce President Donald J. Trump and they’re told their views are those of cult members.
“Even though these are men that every single night at 9 o’clock at night, they put their hand over their heart and sin the National Anthem voluntarily,” she said. “Imagine, a group of men being held in jail with no idea of when they’re going to go to court, no ability to bail out, no ability to see their family, being mistreated and abused worse than we treat terrorists at Gitmo, yet they have their hand over their heart every night at 9 o’clock and sing the National Anthem while they’re being persecuted by the very government that has the American flag over our buildings.”
Greene said she completely disagrees with the violence that took place on Jan. 6, but added we should all disagree with how the inmates are being treated.
“This is completely unacceptable,” she said. “And as Americans, this should go beyond political boundaries, and we should all come together and declare that this is wrong and call for it to stop.”
Greene reminded the press the Democrat platform Act Blue raised money for BLM.
“BLM brought in millions and millions of dollars,” she said. “But it was BLM violence and riots that were out of control. But yet here we see nothing day in and day out in the news. It’s all about the Capitol riot. Congress only cares about itself. It clearly demonstrates to the American people — it does not care about your business that got burned down, it doesn’t care about the job you lost, Congress doesn’t care about your city or community that was devastated by violence. They don’t care about you taxpayers that have to pay to fix and mend. They don’t care about the person that assaulted you, looted your store or hurt you in this violence. They don’t care about any of that. They only care about themselves and they’re willing to use the Department of Justice, the FBI, the prisons, the jails, the guards and any means possible to make sure that you never mess with them again. This is wrong. It’s unusually cruel.”
Gohmert joined Greene for the tour of the prison. He spoke out against inconsistency between how the Jan. 6 defendants are being treated as opposed to the BLM rioters, many of whom were allowed to post bail and/or have charges dropped.
“We know, for those that are still taught any type of civics or government, you know, that under our system, you are innocent until proven guilty,” he said. “And the law in the Constitution have made very clear — you’re not to punish anyone who is in pre-trial confinement.”
Punishment, he said, can only come after conviction.
“And yet here what we’ve seen in the D.C. jail amounts to a great deal of punishment,” he said. “And to be clear, it’s not just the inmates that have suffered.”
Gohmert said he asked more than one guard if they’ve worked in a facility with these kind of problems.
“And quietly they would say ‘never,'” he said. “It is outrageous.”
Gohmert took aim at allegations Jan. 6 was an “armed insurrection.”
“As I asked Merrick Garland and I’ve asked others, is there anybody who has been charged with insurrection,” he said. “And the answer is actually, no. No one has been charged with insurrection.”
Gohmert said if anyone would be charged with insurrection, it’s beginning to seem like it would be agents for the federal government who were “stirring things up” and trying to get people to engage in violence.
Defendants are being punished for demanding to talk to their lawyer in person by being placed in solitary confinement for two weeks.
“To discourage the ability to talk to your attorney,” he said. “This is the kind of punishment that they have had meted out to them and it really has to stop.”
One individual being held in the jail, Gohmert said, has a hand that appears dark — toward gray or black.
“That’s normally leading toward amputation when it gets that bad,” he said. “They haven’t given him proper medical care.”
Another inmate had his finger going sideways at the last joint after a guard broke it.
“There are just all kinds of things there,” Gohmert said.
Refusing to allow haircuts or people to shave, he added, is creating prisoners who look like the Unibomber.
“I know from my experience if a jail facility will not allow an inmate to prepare for court so that he’s not brought in looking like a criminal, then that jail facility is going to be sanctioned by the judge in whose court they’re brought. None of those things are happening.”
One judge, Gohmert said, has started to take action, but it isn’t nearly enough.
“We need all of the videos that anybody has, but it’s the federal government,” he said. “I don’t understand why our Speaker is trying to hide evidence while they run around looking for anything that might help them make Republicans look bad.”
Gohmert held up a tweet from Landerkin from two years ago that said “fu*k everyone that supports Trump.
“She said it two years ago and she’s been carrying out what she said ever since these people were admitted to jail,” Gohmert said.
He called for her to be relieved of her duties.
Gaetz predicted when Republicans take over Congress and Congressman Jim Jordan and Congresswoman Greene are in charge of oversight, it will not be like the days of Paul Ryan and Trey Gowdy with no real oversight and no real subpoenas.
Instead, Jordan, Greene, Gosar and Gaetz will do everything to get answers to the questions posed.
Gosar said the physical conditions described by his colleagues can only be described as “inhumane.”
“These are not hardened thugs, murderers or gang members with long histories of crimes,” he said. “These are not unruly or dangerous, violent criminals. These are dads, brothers, veterans, teachers — all political prisoners who continue to be persecuted enduring the pain of unjust suffering.”
Gosar said all individuals arrested for illegal acts on Jan. 6 should be treated fairly. He asked why AG Merrick Garland and President Joe Biden are so interested in ruining these individuals’ lives rather than ensuring equal justice.
“What is being described by these political prisoners is nothing short of a human rights violation,” he said. “The silence from the ACLU and Amnesty International is deafening.”
Greene closed by asking members of the press to read the report and share it with Americans.
“You have such a wonderful gift — the freedom of the press — and Americans need to know,” she said. “Whatever your political biases, I ask you to please overlook it. That’s what journalists are supposed to do.”