Protesters participate in a political rally on July 25, 2021 in New York City. Protesters were demanding a release of the people who were arrested on January 6th for their involvement in the breach of the Capitol building. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
UPDATED 11:21 AM PT – Thursday, January 6, 2022
Republican lawmakers are ramping up pressure on the Biden administration to stop the harsh treatment of January 6 defendants. They are also calling on the administration to address the evidence of foul play before and during the capitol protest.
“Americans need to wake up and understand that people are being tortured. Tortured!” exclaimed Joseph McBride, attorney for January 6 detainees. “Are you okay with people being tortured five miles from the White House right now?”
The Department of Justice is advancing the prosecutions of January 6 protesters despite mounting legal challenges and evidence of foul play. In a statement Wednesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland vowed to punish hundreds of protesters regardless of whether they played an active role in the demonstration or even if they were not on Capitol Hill that day.
“The Justice Department remains committed to holding all January 6 perpetrators at any level accountable under law, whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy,” he stated.
Garland appeared to suggest the supporters of President Donald Trump are solely responsible for clashes at the U.S. Capitol, echoing the rhetoric of Democrat-controlled January 6 Committee. However, the Justice Department has yet to clarify the reports of federal agents and far-left operatives who Republican lawmakers say incited violence at the protest.
While the debate continues of what actually happened on January 6, around 1,400 protesters have been detained in connection with the protest, according to a Daily Caller estimate. Federal investigators have tried to accuse some of the defendants of “domestic terrorism” despite admitting hardly any of their actions meet the legal definition of terrorism.
Republican lawmakers, who have looked into the matter, are sounding the alarm.
“Here’s the thing, what’s going on is we have inhumane treatment of people who have not been convicted of a crime,” said Rep. Andy Biggs, (R-Ariz.). “These folks are being held in pre-trial detention.”
Attorneys for January 6 detainees have said their clients face inhumane detention conditions, psychological pressure and even torture. They argued the federal government’s actions violate the U.S. Constitution and the international law on human rights.
The argument for political motives behind miserable detention conditions is further reinforced by reports of a political bias that some prison guards have shown by expressing anti-Trump and hard left views. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) are her Republican colleagues are now investigating the evidence of suspected political persecution taking place on U.S. soil.
Republican lawmakers are now demanding a congressional hearing on the mistreatment and torture of January 6 detainees as well as a truly bipartisan probe into events at the U.S. Capitol. All the while, Garland is touting criminal charges against 325 people in a federal probe that is deemed “increasingly political” going into its second year.