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House lawmakers tour D.C. jail holding Jan. 6 defendants to inspect conditions

GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene argued the inmates were being “treated as political prisoners,” while Democratic Rep. Jasmine Crockett “didn’t see anything that was alarming."
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 24: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) talks to the media along with Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) and Rep. Mike Collins (R-GA) as the Congressional Integrity Project video truck showing 12 minutes of footage from the January 6th Insurrection drives around the DC Department of Corrections on March 24, 2023 in Washington, DC. The Congressional Integrity Project mobile billboard was outside the jail protesting as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene lead a tour of the jail with members of congress where some Jan. 6 defendants are being held on March 24, 2023 in Washington, DC.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., talks to the media along with Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., and Rep. Mike Collins, R-Ga., outside the DC Department of Corrections, in Washington, D.C., on March 24, 2023.Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images

Members of the House Oversight Committee on Friday toured a Washington, D.C., jail where some Jan. 6 defendants are being held and offered contrasting descriptions of conditions inside the facility.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who spearheaded the visit, painted a picture of constitutional violations and overall mistreatment, while her Democratic counterparts said the defendants were being treated fairly with nothing out of the ordinary.

"Their due process rights are being violated. And they have been mistreated and treated as political prisoners," Greene, R-Ga., told reporters after the tour, flanked by fellow Republicans on the committee, including Reps. Byron Donalds of Florida, Anna Paulina Luna of Florida and Mike Collins of Georgia.

Greene, who previously visited the jail in November 2021, had worked with House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer, R-Ky., to organize the trip for members of Congress. Comer's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Friday's tour.

GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, who was also on hand for the tour, was seen exchanging a hug with Micki Witthoeft, the mother of Ashli Babbitt, a Jan. 6 rioter who was shot by police as she jumped through a broken window while members of Congress fled.

The two Democrats on Friday's tour disputed Republican characterizations of the jail and the Jan. 6 defendants.

Rep. Jasmine Crockett of Texas, a former public defender, described the visit as “political theater,” adding that she “didn’t see anything that was alarming.”

California Rep. Robert Garcia told reporters that the defendants were “being treated very fairly appropriately,” adding that Republicans were “treating these insurrectionists like they’re pseudo celebrities.”

The Washington Corrections Department is holding 20 people charged in connection with the Jan. 6 riot, according to an analysis this month by Just Security, out of about 1,000 people who have been arrested. Nine of the 20 have been convicted or have pleaded guilty, and just three defendants at the D.C. jail haven’t been charged with physically assaulting law enforcement officers during the attack on the Capitol.