House Republicans on Thursday began their investigation into whether people charged with crimes in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol have been mistreated in jail, fulfilling a pledge GOP leaders made to their right flank. The investigation — part of a broader effort by Republicans to rewrite the history of the riot in part by portraying participants as the true victims — has been a top priority of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). Greene wrote to the D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser demanding answers to questions, a tour of the jail, and access to staff and inmates to conduct interviews by March 23. She and other lawmakers asked for all documents and communications about the Jan. 6 detainees’ complaints , reports the New York Times. “Eyewitness accounts of conditions at the D.C. jail facilities — particularly regarding the treatment of Jan. 6 detainees — paint a picture of despair, hopelessness, and a severe abuse of justice,” Greene wrote in a letter signed by Rep. James Comer (R-KY), chairman of the Oversight Committee, and Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA). “No prisoner in the United States should be treated in this fashion.”
The investigation comes as Republicans have split over the mob attack at the Capitol. Many in the party regard the riot as a political liability and would like to focus on economic or other policy issues. A louder group wants to relitigate it publicly to feed the anger of the party’s hard-right base, which reveres former President . Trump and believes the rioters were justified in standing up against an election he falsely claims was stolen. Understand the Events on Jan. 6. Greene visited the jail in November 2021 and detailed her findings in a report. She said one inmate reported being beaten by other detainees and not being provided care. Another showed evidence of having a fractured bone that was left untreated, she said. Civil rights advocates have long been concerned about conditions at the jail. They received increased attention after the Jan. 6 attack, when a few dozen of the arrestees began being housed there. Their lawyers raised concerns about threats from guards, standing sewage and scant food and water. A federal judge held top officials of the D.C. jail in contempt of court ruling they had improperly delayed medical treatment for a defendant kept in their custody in connection with the Jan. 6 attack.