A group of Republican lawmakers held a press conference on Tuesday before the first hearing of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s committee to investigate the protests at the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, and demanded to know what kind of treatment protesters arrested are being given.
“We still need to know: do we have political prisoners here in America, or not? And we can’t get an answer,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX). “People, whether they’ve done right or wrong, they deserve to be treated properly.”
Gohmert was joined by Reps. Andy Biggs (AZ), Matt Gaetz (FL), Bob Good (VA), Paul Gosar (AZ), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA) for the press conference in front of the Justice Department.
Gohmert said they have received reports about people being shipped to various jails and mistreatment in jail.
“We’ve asked for an opportunity to inspect the jails. Back when I was a felony judge, I would show up outside of jails or prisons because I needed to know what kind of treatment people got in there,” he said.
He said they have been asking for meetings for months with Attorney General Merrick Garland.
“And yet we’ve been denied,” he said. “They want no oversight. They don’t want to give information. And yet, there are reports of people being held and demands for admission of guilt. And they have not been shown the evidence against them. They’ve not been shown the, uh, exonerating exculpatory evidence as required by law.”
Protesters interrupted the press conference, blowing whistles and heckling the lawmakers. The press conference concluded after protesters got closer to the lawmakers. Protesters proceeded to follow them down the street.
So far, more than 500 have been charged with various charges related to protests at the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021.