Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) is coordinating with Rep. James Comer (R-KY), the chair of the House Oversight Committee, to arrange for congressional representatives to travel to the Washington, D.C., jail where the defendants from January 6 are being housed. Greene is in charge of the effort and has previously visited the jail where people accused of offenses connected to the incident on January 6, 2021 are being kept.
Both Greene and Comer stated that a letter to begin the process of scheduling the visit is anticipated to be made public on Thursday. In order to “let them know that we’re coming,” the organization will likely address the letter to “several people,” Greene continued.
Comer stated that he is collaborating on the letter with Greene in the same way as he would with any other committee member on a subject of mutual interest. According to Greene, “we’re going to be addressing the human rights abuse, such as the fact that they’ve been detained in solitary confinement for up to 23 hours a day, denied the ability to contact their families,” as well as claims of “non-working toilets” and problems getting medical care. Republicans like Greene have long criticized the jail’s facilities and questioned why the defendants are being kept without bail.
Around 30 Jan. 6 detainees asked to be relocated to the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, last year, claiming that the place had “black mold” and “worms” in the food they were eating.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La. ), when questioned about the trip during a press conference on Wednesday, said he was unsure whether there would be one and shifted the conversation to committees “looking at some of these agencies who abused their power.”
When bipartisan uproar on Capitol Hill erupted over Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) Monday airing of Capitol surveillance footage from Jan. 6, word of the planning broke. The violence on January 6 was downplayed by Carlson, who called it “largely calm turmoil.”
Greene has complimented Carlson for displaying the video, but said that the Fox News program did not redouble her efforts to get a visit to the jail, which she claims she has been pursuing since the last Congress.
In November 2021, Greene paid a visit to the D.C. Department of Prisons’ “patriot wing,” taking a tour and chatting with Jan. 6 defendants face-to-face. She was given access to the area, according to her office at the time, after “months of asking access with letter after letter and call after call.”
She claimed that since her initial visit, she has attempted to visit the jail “several times,” requesting admittance in numerous letters to the mayor’s office.
Comer is unsure of his attendance. It’s not at the top of my list. I’ll let you know how my schedule shakes out,” Comer added. But when Greene can arrange a visit, other Republicans are anticipated to go with her. She started talking to folks about it yesterday, and more members than I would have initially expected have indicated an interest in accompanying her to that prison, Comer said.
Every member of Congress, whether a Democrat or a Republican, is welcome to join the trip, Comer added.
“Perhaps the committee Democrats will attend. Everyone should go there, in my opinion,” Greene added.
Greene claimed she does not maintain touch with the Jan. 6 defendants because she does not think that would be “appropriate,” despite organizing the effort and having visiting the institution.
When asked how many of the Jan. 6 defendants she has contact with, Greene responded, “I don’t get engaged with them, I don’t talk to them, and I’m not interested in their cases because I don’t believe that’s the appropriate job for me. I don’t know them personally because I don’t share fundraisers or anything like or any other way. But they write to my office, and I get a lot of information from people about it.