- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 16, 2021

More than a dozen Republican lawmakers led by Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert are demanding that a D.C. Jail deputy warden be fired over what they call the mistreatment of Jan. 6 Capitol riot detainees.

In a letter sent to the city’s Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser on Thursday, 14 GOP House members accused Deputy Warden Kathleen Landerkin of treating Jan. 6 detainees as “subhuman.”

“Jan. 6 defendants [have] reported being subjected to months of solitary confinement, verbal abuse (e.g., called ‘white supremacists’), harassment, beatings from guards, denial of basic medical care, religious services, communion, nutritious diet, and access to attorneys,” they wrote.

Jan 6 prisoners are also denied access to educational programs and resources provided to other inmates, lawmakers wrote.

“Landerkin is perpetuating a two-tier incarceration system where Caucasian pre-trial detainees are given ‘Nation of Islam’ reading materials telling them they are evil because of the color of their skin and that America is a terrible country that perpetuates a racial caste system,” the four-page letter states. “Meanwhile, other inmates — many of whom have already been convicted — have access to book clubs, moot court, and hours of television.”

The Republicans also said the warden’s social media history indicates a sharp bias against former President Trump. 

“They reveal the unhinged personality of a left-wing ideologue who despises our system of government and those who serve in it, especially members of Congress and the former President of the United States,” the lawmakers wrote.

The Republican complaints come one month after Mrs. Greene and Mr. Gohmert finally visited the jail after several failed attempts.

The duo, who both signed the letter and have been outspoken about alleged mistreatment of the Jan. 6 detainees, were previously turned away by jail staff who said they did not receive the required approval for a tour. After the tour, Ms. Greene said the Jan. 6 detainees were “suffering greatly.”

The 14 lawmakers told Miss Bowser that they do not believe Ms. Landerkin can treat the Jan. 6 detainees “with any level of respect given her public comments and past treatment of members of Congress visiting the jail.”

“It would be unfortunate if your office were forced to defend the unhinged political commentary of a woman sworn to uphold justice to those who have yet to be determined guilty by a jury of their peers,” they wrote.

Joining Mrs. Greene and Mr. Gohmert in the letter were representatives Matt Gaetz of Florida, Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs of Arizona, Bob Good of Virginia, Andy Harris of Maryland, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Mary Miller of Illinois, Barry Moore of Alabama, Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Michael Cloud of Texas.

The letter also notes that the U.S. Marshal’s Service last month removed nearly 400 inmates under its custody from the D.C. Jail after a surprise inspection revealed unsanitary conditions.

However, none of the federal inmates facing Capitol riot charges were transferred because they are all housed in a separate building, where conditions were deemed to be adequate.

There are at least 40 Jan. 6 detainees housed at the jail, according to an estimate last month from attorney Alex Stavrou.

Miss Bowser and a D.C. Jail spokeswoman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

• Emily Zantow can be reached at ezantow@washingtontimes.com.

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