Six Republican House lawmakers called on Justice Department officials Tuesday to provide answers on the status and treatment of jailed Trump supporters who have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
“We want to know how are the detainees being treated inside the jail,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia said at a news conference outside the Justice Department in Washington.
Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert said they have heard reports of “mistreatment in the jail” and “people being shipped to jails all over.”
They held the event as four police officers testified to a House select committee about the violence they encountered when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
The Justice Department website shows more than 500 people have been arrested so far in connection with the Capitol attack.
Mrs. Greene and Mr. Gohmert were joined by Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Bob Good of Virginia. The afternoon event ended shortly after counterprotesters showed up.
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, one of two Republicans chosen to serve on the select committee, called her colleagues’ event “a disgrace.”
“The fact that they’ve gone from recognizing what happened on the 6th to protesting in front of the Justice Department on behalf of those who were part of the insurrection is something that I can’t explain — I think it’s a disgrace,” Ms. Cheney told reporters.
Four of the GOP lawmakers who spoke at Tuesday’s event at the Justice Department sent a letter last week to Attorney General Merrick B. Garland requesting to meet with him regarding “unanswered questions relating to the treatment of January 6th prisoners. “
“We have concerns about reports of the conditions of the prison where these detainees are being held and whether, in fact, there have been instances of abuse inflicted by other prisoners or guards,” the three-page letter stated. “We also have questions regarding whether some have been or are currently being imprisoned in solitary confinement for the purpose of punishment or as a means of cruel and unusual punishment.”
They said the Justice Department has not yet responded to the request for a meeting.