A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Friday toured a Washington, DC, jail housing Jan. 6 riot defendants — and after the visit, Democrats accused Republicans of lying about the conditions inside the lockup and treating the inmates “like celebrities.”
“The actions of our Republican colleagues inside the facility and their lies about the visit are shameful,” Rep. Robert Garcia (D-Calif.) wrote in a tweet Friday.
Garcia was one of two freshman House Democrats that joined a congressional delegation led by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) to the facility. Reps. Jasmine Crockett (D-Texas) and Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) were among the lawmakers that made the short trip to the jail from the Capitol Building.
Both Garcia and Crockett told reporters after the tour that they were shocked to see that the inmates had access to laptops and tablets and appeared to be in good health.
“Marjorie Taylor Greene is already telling lies about the conditions of the facility and saying that there was no insurrection on January 6. The inmates that we saw were being treated fairly. They have 24 hr medical care, computer tablets & access to communicate with family,” Garcia said.
Crockett said her Republican colleagues showed no interest in the conditions of general population inmates, and only toured the area of the jail housing Jan. 6 defendants.
“They have their own cells, thay have access to laptops and tablets … I mean, it’s unlike anything that I’ve ever seen,” Crockett told reporters outside the jail about what she saw.
“When we saw the inmates, my Republican colleagues rushed to them and treated them like celebrities rather than people who attacked our capitol police and our very democracy,” Garcia claimed.
“It’s clear these insurrectionists are being held in much better conditions than most black and brown inmates in prisons across the country,” he added.
“As we left the January 6 inmates they started chanting ‘Let’s Go Brandon,’” Garcia said.
Greene has called the conditions inside the jail for Jan. 6 prisoners a “human rights abuse” and she has accused jailers of treating defendants “poorly.” On Friday she claimed that medical care and services are being withheld from the defendants.
The Georgia Republican also accused judges handling Jan. 6 cases of using “their courtrooms as political weapons,” calling them “a real problem.”
Donalds added that some defendants at the jail have not been able to obtain bond hearings some 25 months after the Capitol riot, and said “constitutional rights are being violated” at the facility.
The visit to the facility comes one day after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) met with the mother of Ashli Babbitt, a Trump supporter who was shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer as she attempted to enter the speaker’s lobby during the riot.
Babbitt’s mom, Micki Witthoeft, told reporters Thursday that she thought “it was a good meeting,” and that McCarthy was “delightful.”
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