WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene swept into the District of Columbia jail to test on circumstances for the Jan. 6 defendants, with Republican lawmakers handshaking and high-fiving the prisoners, who chanted “Let’s Go Brandon!” — a coded vulgarity in opposition to President Joe Biden — because the group left.
A day earlier Speaker Kevin McCarthy met with the mom of slain rioter Ashli Babbitt, a Navy veteran who was shot and killed by police as she tried to climb via a damaged window through the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.
And the Home Republican chief just lately gave Fox Information’ Tucker Carlson exclusive access to a trove of Jan. 6 surveillance tapes regardless of the conservative commentator’s airing of conspiracy theories in regards to the Capitol assault.
Taken collectively, the Home Republicans might be seen as working steadily however intently to distort the info of the lethal riot, which performed out for the world to see when Donald Trump’s supporters laid siege to the Capitol, and within the course of downplay the chance of home extremism within the U.S.
In actions and laws, the Republicans are searching for to painting perpetrators of the Capitol riot as victims of zealous federal prosecutors, regardless of many being convicted of significant crimes. As Trump requires the Jan. 6 defendants to be pardoned, some Home Republicans are trying to rebrand those that stormed the Capitol as “political prisoners.”
The result’s alarming to those that acknowledge a dangerously Orwellian try to whitewash current historical past.
“There is no query Marjorie Taylor Greene and different Republicans are trying to rewrite historical past,” stated Heidi Beirich, the co-founder of the International Challenge In opposition to Hate and Extremism. “They’re making mild of what was a critical assault on our democracy.”
The tour Greene led on the native jail Friday comes as almost 1,000 folks have been charged by the Justice Division within the assault on the Capitol — leaders of the extremist Oath Keepers convicted of seditious conspiracy. The 20 or so defendants being held at the jail, many in pretrial detention on serious federal charges, are amongst those that battled police on the Capitol, officers stated, in what at instances was a grotesque bloody scene of violence and mayhem.
Greene advised The Related Press the thought she’s making an attempt to rewrite historical past is the “stupidest factor” she’s ever heard of, particularly because the assault on the Capitol has been captured within the 41,000 hours of video that McCarthy made accessible to Fox Information.
“We are able to’t rewrite it — it’s all on video,” Greene advised the AP.
“You’ll be able to’t change the historical past, however what we are able to do is expose the reality. That’s what we have to do,” Greene stated.
The nation has been right here earlier than — within the aftermath of the Civil Warfare, when the Misplaced Trigger motion sought to reframe the battle over ending slavery within the U.S. as one in all states’ rights, and once more within the years following the Civil Rights motion as critics of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. questioned his transformative legacy.
Within the Home below Republican management this yr, the brand new management brazenly questions what occurred on Jan. 6 in addition to how the federal authorities is investigating and prosecuting extremists. Outdoors teams are elevating cash and rallying to the help of Jan. 6 defendants.
This previous week, a Republican-led Judiciary subcommittee probed the federal authorities’s remedy of oldsters protesting faculty board insurance policies — generally violently — as unfair. Subsequent week, the brand new Republican committee on the “weaponization” of the federal authorities will delve into First Modification free speech rights on social media.
McCarthy warned that the federal authorities is labeling mother and father as “home terrorists” for exhibiting up at college board conferences, though such prosecutions are extraordinarily uncommon.
His was a reference to a 2021 Justice Division memo from Lawyer Normal Merrick Garland responding to the Nationwide College Board Affiliation’s concerns about violent protesters at college board conferences. Garland had directed federal legislation enforcement to deal with what he known as a “disturbing spike” in harassment of college officers.
Probing the matter, the Republican-led Home Judiciary Committee launched a report exhibiting that in a single federal investigation, the FBI interviewed a mother for allegedly telling a neighborhood faculty board “we’re coming for you.” In one other, the FBI investigated a dad who opposed COVID masks mandates after a tipster to a federal hotline stated he “match the profile of an insurrectionist” as a result of he “rails in opposition to the federal government” and “has a whole lot of weapons and threatens to make use of them.”
“Mother and father ought to have a proper to go to highschool board conferences and never be known as terrorists,” McCarthy said.
Whereas Greene has stated the Capitol assault was unsuitable, on the jail go to Friday she stated she believes there’s a “two-tiered” justice system and that the Jan. 6 defendants are being “handled as political prisoners” for his or her beliefs.
Democrats on the tour stated that’s categorically false. Whereas the native jail got here has long been the subject of complaints — the U.S. Marshals made plans to relocate 400 detainees after a shock 2021 inspection discovered elements of the ability “don’t meet the minimal requirements” — the Jan. 6 defendants have been housed in a more moderen wing that was not cited as problematic within the Marshals’ assertion.
The 2 Democrats who joined the tour as members of the Home Oversight Committee stated they each had visited detention services earlier than. “It is most likely nearly as good as a jail might be,” stated Rep. Jasmine Crockett, D-Texas, a former public defender.
Democratic Rep. Robert Garcia of California famous the best way the Republicans led by Greene handled the Jan. 6 defendants as celebrities — shaking their arms and slapping backs when the lawmakers arrived within the jail facility.
As they left, the defendants chanted the “Let’s Go Brandon!” phrase in opposition to Biden, he stated in a tweet.
“What’s most necessary to recollect is that whereas Marjorie Taylor Greene and others need to deal with these of us as pseudo celebrities, a few of these of us are insurrectionists,” Garcia advised reporters. “And we will not overlook that.”