On Tuesday, after being denied access to the interior of the Department of Justice Building to hold their previously announced press conference, Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-FL., Marjorie Taylor Green, R-Ga., Paul Gosar, R-AZ., and Louie Gohmert, R-TX., took to the sidewalk to demand answers from Attorney General Merrick Garland on the status of the Jan. 6 prisoners and other questions related to the events that day at the U.S. Capitol Building. The press briefing was repeatedly interrupted by left-leaning protestors. Green said, before being escorted away:
"To the guy that's blowing the whistle: We are not deterred."
In a letter dated Jul. 24, 2021, the members of Congress sent correspondence to AG Garland requesting a meeting to discuss matters surrounding unanswered questions about the treatment of Jan. 6 prisoners being held in Washington D.C. In explaining their concerns over the treatment of these Americans—who they remind have a right to a fair trial and to see the evidence against them—Rep. Gohmert said in a statement:
"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 the Department of Justice, leadership of the Capitol Police and the Bureau of Prisons. This should chill every American. One would expect to see abuses of political prisoners in tyrannical third-world countries, not the United States. 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."
According to the letter, the Department of Justice reports 535 people have been arrested following the events on Jan. 6. Still, seven months have passed, and "answers are not forthcoming." Declaring the prisoners are being harassed and persecuted for being supporters of President Trump, the lawmakers note that in addition to the guarantee of a fair trial, the individuals have a basic and fundamental right to see all potentially exculpatory or exonerating evidence against them before a plea agreement should be offered—a right the lawmakers allege is being neglected. Gohmert points out that "disregarding these procedures is a violation of any American citizen's civil rights."
Gohmert asserts that the lawmakers have previously requested AG Garland allow them to evaluate the conditions at the D.C. jail where the citizens—many of whom were not even in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6—are being held, but their request has been disregarded. Gohmert added:
"The appalling events of Jan. 6 have spurred what appears to be a vigilante mob mentality, with the FBI and DOJ seeming to believe that Jan. 6 justifies their setting jurisprudence aside to spy on all Americans while pursuing revenge and retaliation."
In their letter to AG Garland, the lawmakers supplied examples of several of their concerns, including abuse being inflicted by other prisoners or guards and the use of solitary confinement for up to 23 hours a day as a means of cruel and unusual punishment. The letter partially outlines the repeated attempts by the congressmen to obtain answers in their official capacity as "the people's elected officials duly sworn to conduct oversight in these matters." Their inquiries have been repeatedly ignored.
Importantly, as far back as last March, Rep. Gohmert intentionally addressed his concerns over the lack of factual information being given regarding Jan. 6 and requested "the DOJ and the FBI to inform the public of all the circumstances." The letter adds:
"We would also like to discuss why we were not warned that 'armed extremists were planning mayhem' on January 6th? Ms. Pittman testified on February 25th this year that her office was notified in advance that 'armed extremists' were targeting the peaceful rally and potentially targeting us as members of Congress. Yet we received no notice of this threat."
Also on Tuesday, in a major announcement, Marjorie Taylor Green, R-Ga., who referred to Nancy Pelosi as "The Queen of Hypocrites," announced that she is joining Thomas Massie, R-KY, and Ralph Norman, R-SC, in filing a federal lawsuit against the Speaker of the House. The trio is suing Pelosi after they were fined for refusing to wear face masks on the floor of the House of Representatives. At a Washington D.C. press conference, Massie said of the lawsuit:
"Nancy Pelosi did this by edict. There's no law. She changed this rule on her own. She did it unconstitutionally."
As reported by UncoverDC on Monday, Massie and Chip Roy, R-TX., recently followed up on a letter sent to AG Garland requesting an update on the status of the Jan. 6 investigation. Their requests, like the requests of the GOP lawmakers mentioned above, have been ignored by the Department of Justice and AG Garland.
Pelosi's mask rule, which came to life last year amid the still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, was approved by House Democrats, allowing representatives to be fined $500 for a first mask offense and $2,500 for the subsequent mask offense if they defied the demand.
Green, who was fined along with Massie and Norman in May before the House's blanket mask mandate was lifted, remarked that Pelosi brought lawmakers to Washington DC at the very beginning of the 117the Congress, "exposing all of us to COVID-19 just so she could have the votes to be Speaker of the house." Green continued, adding that, then, after the CDC and Joe Biden said it was OK to stop wearing a mask, Pelosi turns around and issued fines to lawmakers for not wearing a mask, despite the fact she was not wearing one on the same day she delivered the penalty against the lawmakers for not wearing one. Green said at the press conference:
“It is beyond me why we are mistreating people, segregating people, discriminating against people for masks and vaccines, which should be a choice.”