Democrats and Republicans have different accounts of visit to DC jail
Republicans and Democrats are offering opposing narratives about the treatment of Jan. 6 defendants after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) led a bipartisan group of lawmakers to visit a jail in Washington, D.C., where several of the rioters are being held.
Greene led a group of lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee to visit the D.C. jail on Friday as part of the firebrand Republican’s efforts to paint Jan. 6 defendants as “political prisoners” who are being mistreated inside detention facilities. Greene has long made it a top priority to defend those who have been arrested in connection to the Capitol riot, arguing they are treated unfairly compared to other inmates.
PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS JOIN MTG TO VISIT JAN. 6 DEFENDANTS IN DC JAIL
“What we saw today is exactly what we’ve known all along — it’s a two-tiered justice system, and there’s a very different treatment for pretrial Jan. 6 defendants and the inmates or, you know, other charged defendants and inmates,” Greene told reporters outside the jail. “These men are being held, their due process rights were being violated, and they have been mistreated.”
However, Greene’s version of the story was challenged by a pair of progressive Democrats who decided to tag along with the heavily GOP crowd during Friday’s visit as a way to ensure transparency — something they argued would be lost without their presence.
“Somebody’s got to be here to tell the truth,” Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-TX) told reporters after the tour concluded. “If we weren’t here, there would be no check for whatever it was that they said.”
Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA), who attended the tour, also fired back against Greene’s account, denouncing her “lies about the visit” as “shameful.”
“Marjorie Taylor Greene is already telling lies about the conditions of the facility and saying that there was no insurrection on January 6,” Garcia said in a tweet. “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. It’s clear these insurrectionists are being held in much better conditions than most black and brown inmates in prisons across the country.”
Greene rejected those comments, arguing Crockett and Garcia did not have enough context about the detention facility to understand the underlying problems. The Georgia Republican pointed to her previous visits to the D.C. jail in late 2021 when she heard stories from inmates about widespread abuse and neglect.
Greene then took it a step further, calling for an investigation into the D.C. detention facility and its alleged “two-tiered justice system.”
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The visit comes as Republicans refocus on the Jan. 6 riot, using their new majority in the House to flip the narrative that has largely been controlled by Democrats over the last two years. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Thursday met with the mother of Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer as she attempted to enter the speaker’s lobby during the riot.
House Republicans are also gearing up to release findings of their own Jan. 6 investigation. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) said he plans to publish the initial findings from his investigation into the Democratic-led Jan. 6 committee as soon as Tuesday, according to Politico.