IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Reps. Greene and Comer are planning a lawmaker visit to Jan. 6 defendants held in the D.C. jail

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., toured the facility in November 2021. Her office said some Jan. 6 defendants are being “housed in atrocious and cramped conditions.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., speaks on Capitol Hill Sept. 20, 2022.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., speaks on Capitol Hill on Sept. 20.Drew Angerer / Getty Images

House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer, R-Ky., and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., are working together to organize a trip for members of Congress to visit Jan. 6 defendants who are being held in the Washington, D.C., jail.

Supporters of former President Donald Trump have depicted those who remain in jail ahead of trial on charges related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol as political prisoners who are being unfairly prosecuted. A mob of Trump's supporters attacked the Capitol in a failed bid to block the counting of the electoral votes certifying Joe Biden's election as president.

Comer’s office on Thursday confirmed reports of the planned trip but declined to provide further updates. Politico first reported the effort led by Greene, a member of the House Oversight Committee.

Greene’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Greene, Comer and Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., released a letter to Mayor Muriel Bowser on Thursday night requesting information and documentation about “January 6 detainees.” They also asked Bowser to take steps that would allow for a congressional delegation to visit the jail and let lawmakers interview inmates and employees.

A spokesperson for the mayor's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Some defendants who have been held in the jail in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack have alleged that they are being housed in inhumane conditions, including that they are “force fed” critical race theory and subjected to “anti-white messaging” behind bars.

Greene, who boosted Trump’s false claims of election fraud and has argued in court that there us no evidence she played a direct role in the Jan. 6 attack, toured the jail in November 2021. Greene’s office said some Jan. 6 defendants are being “housed in atrocious and cramped conditions.” Her office also claimed that “reading materials which promoted the Nation of Islam and Critical Race Theory” were found at “multiple common areas” at the facility.

In a December 2021 letter to Bowser, Greene was among 14 House Republicans who complained that Jan. 6 defendants were being “treated as subhuman” in jail.

“During a recent visit to the DC jail, Members of Congress were exposed to a two-tier justice system in which the January 6 defendants were treated categorically different from the remainder of the prison population,” the letter reads. “January 6 defendants 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.”

Last year, nearly three dozen Jan. 6 defendants at the jail asked to be transferred to the U.S. detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

The defendants described the jail as having “medieval standards of living” and “hellacious conditions” that it “insists on tormenting its traumatized guests with.”

The Jan. 6 detainees also alleged in their complaint that they have been presented with critical race theory “propaganda” on tablets, along with “re-education propaganda” and “racially biased information.”