(USA Features) A number of Republican lawmakers including Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia plan to gather Tuesday for a news conference on the steps of the Justice Department to demand answers about why Jan. 6 protesters are still in custody months after they were arrested.
The lawmakers will point out that they have not received any response from Attorney General Merrick Garland or anyone else at the DoJ after first inquiring about the detainees weeks ago following reports some of them were being mistreated and abused.
In addition to Gaetz and Greene, Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas and Paul Gosar of Arizona will also be at the press conference, The Epoch Times reported Monday evening.
In a letter to Garland, the lawmakers “requested a meeting to discuss unanswered questions relating to the treatment of January 6th prisoners.”
In addition to the GOP lawmakers, others have raised questions about the treatment of the Jan. 6 Capitol protest detainees, including Democrats who have criticized the fact that some are being held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, according to reports.
“Due to reports of civil rights violations against American citizens, during investigations, prosecutions and even conditions at the D.C. Central Detention Facility where some are being held, Members of Congress have been asking for answers for months, only to be ignored by [DOJ], leadership of the Capitol Police and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons,” Gohmert said in a statement made public late Monday.
“This should chill every American,” he continued.
“One would expect to see abuses of political prisoners in tyrannical third-world countries, not the United States,” he added.
“But we don’t know what of these claims are true because this administration refuses to answer basic questions and give accountability for what appear to be their vengeful actions,” the Texas Republican congressman said.
“We have requested a meeting with the Attorney General since our previous request to assess conditions at the D.C. jail has been ignored,” he continued.
“Everyone in this country should be concerned when matters as serious as these are politicized to the point where the rule of law and accountability is ignored,” he added.
“No matter whom you are in this country, you have the right to a fair trial and the right to see the evidence against you, including all potentially exculpatory or exonerating evidence,” Gohmert went on.
“A plea agreement should not even be offered until these requirements are met,” Gohmert added.
The Justice Department reportedly has obtained more than 14,000 hours of surveillance video that, so far, prosecutors have not made public or released to defendants’ attorneys, which Gohmert referenced.
“Several defendants have already made plea agreements, yet it does not appear that either they, or their counsel, have had access to this potentially exculpatory evidence,” the lawmakers told Garland.
“Every American citizen has a constitutional right to all the evidence before making any decision to go to trial, plead no contest, or plead guilty,” they wrote.
“In our oversight capacity over the DOJ, we have asked multiple times for information only to have our inquiries ignored,” they added.
The four lawmakers told Garland they also “have concerns about reports of the conditions of the prison where these detainees are being held and whether, in fact, there have been instances of abuse inflicted by other prisoners or guards.
“We also have questions regarding whether some have been or are currently being imprisoned in solitary confinement for the purpose of punishment or as a means of cruel and unusual punishment.”