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Republican Lawmakers Denied Access To Prison Holding Prisoners From January 6 Incident At Capitol

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This article contains commentary which reflects the author’s opinion

A group of Republican lawmakers were denied access to a prison in Washington, D.C. when they went to visit prisoners from the January 6 incident at the Capitol.

Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Paul Gosar and Louie Gohmert wanted to check on the conditions of the prisoner son Thursday but were told that they could not, The Independent reported.

“Today, four members of Congress, and staff, were threatened with arrest as we tried to engage in public oversight. The prison officials were angry, rude, obnoxious, unprofessional, and abusive. They did nothing to dispel the allegations of abuse in the prison. They did everything to confirm it,” Rep. Gosar said to The National File.

“If that attitude is any indication of how they’re treating their prisoners inside, I have great concerns,” Rep. Green said at a press conference after being denied access.

“If they can consider us trespassers — [we] fund this facility, have top-secret clearance…” Rep. Gohmert said. “We do inspect facilities, and I’ve never, ever — in the years I’ve been in Congress — ever run into an issue like this until this administration took over.”

“This was apparently a bait and switch,” Rep. Gaetz said. “We are here just to speak to a supervisor and when the supervisor came out and we came out to have that discussion they literally ran behind us and locked the doors so that we wouldn’t have the opportunity to present our identification and seek a review.”

It comes after their press conference at the Department of Justice to counter the start of the 6 January commission on Tuesday was shut down early by protesters.

The four Republicans have been calling on Attorney General Merrick Garland to answer questions on the status of the prisoners and related investigations.

Dozens of defendants remain in jail awaiting trial, with some alleging harsh treatment like solitary confinement and another, Ronald Sandlin, alleging beatings and “mental torture” at the hands of correctional officers.

The Justice Department denied the allegations of beatings, and opponents to the GOP have dismissed attempts by Mr Gaetz and Ms Greene to “demand answers” as a stunt to downplay and distract from the House commission into 6 January.

After leaving the entrance area of the prison on Thursday, the group of GOP lawmakers said they were locked out from re-entering.

This comes months after one of the men arrested for the January 6 incident at the Capitol said that he was abused by guards, WUSA 9 reported.

Elisabeth Pasqualini, the attorney for the man, Ryan Samsel, said he was “viciously and savagely” beaten by a corrections officer after his hands were zip tied.

“He has definitely suffered serious injuries, including a shattered orbital floor, a broken orbital bone, his jaw was broken, his nose was broken,” she said.

But the Director of the DC Department of Corrections Quincy Booth said the accusations were not true.

“DOC has conducted an investigation into allegations made by an inmate regarding our correctional officers and found there was not any violent interaction between the inmate and any correctional officer,” he said. “The results of our investigation have been submitted to the Department of Justice, which is conducting its own investigation.”

“The DC Department of Corrections takes the safety and well-being of all residents, staff, and contractors extremely seriously,” he said.

Mediaite reported “To date, the Justice Department has reported arresting 535 people in connection with January 6. Republicans have been asking the Justice Department to respond to questions about the prisoners without success. Some of the defendants have alleged inhumane conditions, including Ryan Samsel, who was held in the D.C. facility on charges that he assaulted or interfered with a federal agent.”

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