Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene accused of ‘trespassing’ at prison holding Capitol rioters

·2 min read
Matt Gaetz attempts to enter the prison  (YouTube / RSBN)
Matt Gaetz attempts to enter the prison (YouTube / RSBN)

A group of GOP lawmakers was turned away from a Washington DC prison as they attempted to inspect the conditions of Capitol rioters in custody.

Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene were among the group warned they were trespassing and obstructing the entrance to the correctional facility.

The pair live-tweeted their attempt, along with Louie Gohmert and Paul Gosar, to make contact with prisoners held on charges related to the 6 January attack on the Capitol.

“We absolutely are not trespassing and if that attitude is any indication of how they’re treating their prisoners inside I have great concerns,” Ms Greene told media at the facility.

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 was apparently a bait and switch,” Mr 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.”