by Julie Kelly
This week, five Republican senators sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland regarding his office’s handling of January 6 protesters. The letter revealed the senators are aware that several Capitol defendants charged with mostly nonviolent crimes are being held in solitary confinement conditions in a D.C. jail used exclusively to house Capitol detainees.
Joe Biden’s Justice Department routinely requests—and partisan Beltway federal judges routinely approve—pre-trial detention for Americans arrested for their involvement in the January 6 protest. This includes everyone from an 18-year-old high school senior from Georgia to a 70-year-old Virginia farmer with no criminal record.
It is important to emphasize that the accused have languished for months in prison before their trials even have begun. Judges are keeping defendants behind bars largely based on clips selectively produced by the government from a trove of video footage under protective seal and unavailable to defense lawyers and the public—and for the thoughtcrime of doubting the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.
The rule of law for anyone involved in the events of January 6 has been flipped on its head by the U.S. justice system; defendants are presumed guilty before proven innocent. The right to a speedy trial and the right to participate in one’s own defense are ignored, as are other constitutional protections.
Prosecutors insist the alleged crimes committed by Capitol protesters—unlike similar or more egregious crimes committed by leftist protesters last year—are exceptionally heinous because the acts resulted in an “attack on our democracy” and interrupted the official business of the U.S. Congress.
The Justice Department and federal judges also continue to lie in court about the number of fatalities from January 6 in order to make the event seem far worse than it actually was. A Senate report issued this week also repeated the falsehood that “seven individuals, including three law enforcement officers, lost their lives.”
But federal prosecutors and Beltway judges—many of whom were involved in the nonstop criminal hunt against President Trump and his associates for four years—are wasting no time doling out severe punishment for those who dared to challenge the incoming Biden regime.
Take, for example, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, the judge who refused to dismiss the case against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn even though both parties sought to do so. Sullivan is presiding over a handful of Capitol breach cases. Last month, he denied a request made by Jonathan Mellis, behind bars in the D.C. jail since February awaiting trial, to attend his father’s funeral in Virginia. Mellis faces several charges including allegations he attempted to strike a police officer with a stick. (Again, this is based only on evidence presented by the government. Nothing has been contested in court.)
Mellis’ 80-year-old father was a decorated Vietnam War veteran and longtime Defense Department employee. Biden’s Justice Department immediately objected to Mellis’ request for a temporary release. “[T]he defendant’s continued dangerousness to the community and flight risk is too great because, if convicted of some or all of the above-mentioned charges, the defendant will serve a significant amount of time of incarceration.”
Judge Sullivan concurred. “Although the Court is sensitive to the news of his father’s death and expresses its condolences, the Court hereby DENIES Motion for Temporary Release.”
Mellis continues to suffer in what I call the D.C. Deplorable jail with no end in sight for him or his fellow detainees. “I would like to voice my confusion as to why left-wing rioters are set free and shown mercy while being the source of hundreds of riots last year all over the country, causing billions of dollars in damage, dozens of deaths, yet the right-wing rioters from Jan. 6th are treated in the harshest terms,” Mellis wrote to me in an email this week.
We are charged with every possible offense and held in the DC jail on solitary [sic] confinement and treated inhumanely. For example, a correctional officer from a different pod came to C2B screaming at us late at night on 6/1/21 because we had just sang ‘God Bless America’ [sic] from behind our locked doors like we do every night. Being as we are on lockdown 22 hours a day it’s nice to keep morale up through patriotism. When [name omitted by American Greatness], my next door neighbor, informed the officer that we were just singing ‘God Bless America’ the officer responded by yelling, ‘Fuck America!’
After the officer left the pod for several minutes he came back in through the back door with another guard, walked upstairs, and opened [name omitted]’s door to go inside with him. I believe 2 other guards came up the other stairs to stand near [his] door as well, although I could not see them. I live right next door so I listened through the vent to the officer threaten [him], ‘Shut the fuck up or I will beat your ass!’ and, ‘Fuck you!’
[He] sounded like he was explaining himself and pointing out how obviously inappropriate the officer’s behavior was. And acknowledging that the officer’s camera was clearly turned off.
I am concerned for the safety of myself and my fellow Capitol rioters here in the DC jail. We are locked down all day and threatened with violence regularly. We all know that getting our hands tied together and being beaten is something the DC jail officers have already done to Capitol rioters in this pod.
Solitary Confinement and beatings. That is our reality. When will the inhumane treatment end? I just want to let everyone know the reality of how we are treated in this place. Left wing rioters are not even held in jail. Much less subjected to the harsh and inhumane treatment my fellow Capitol rioters and I have survived under so far this year.
Every day, I hear from detainees and their family members about the conditions in the jail. Some predict prison staff are making life miserable in order to provoke an uprising that will be recorded and used as additional propaganda to show the violent tendencies of the so-called insurrectionists. Almost all are first-time offenders.
Here are just a few examples. (In order to protect the individual’s safety, American Greatness is concealing identities unless specifically authorized to share.)
“We have no fewer than 5 combat vets out of Rec at any one time. The problem is . . . if the other cell block breaks in and starts a massive brawl, WE would get blamed in the media. (Many are concerned guards will allow the general population of D.C. prison to mix with January 6 detainees.) We are white. They are not. We are conservative. They are not. They can do whatever they want. We can not. If they busted in here and caused problems, we would be accused of racism, ‘continued violence,’ and ‘rioting,’ and the usual lies and slander.” (The author of that text is not charged with any violent crimes.)
“My son has seen and experienced some very inhumane abuse in that Jail. He has also been denied bond at least twice. While others from that day are already home waiting trial. I don’t know what to do or where to turn. As his Mother I am heartbroken.” (The defendant, a former Marine, is accused of stealing a riot shield and using it to break a window.)
“This kid has been in lockup for over 4 months, 23 hours per day. Rapists, murderers, actual criminals are treated better than the way these political prisoners are being treated. [He] has no access to medical, anything fitness-related, proper grooming, or reasonably edible food choices. He sleeps on a cot with a 1-inch-thick mattress. His “rec” time is limited to one hour per day unless the guards have a wild hair up their — then he gets NOTHING!” (The defendant, an Army reservist, is not charged with any violent crime.)
“When he first arrived he was put in a cell for 96 hours straight and not allowed out. Then they moved him to the pod [with all the Capitol defendants] and into a roughly five and ten cell for 23 hours a day. He is let out for one hour a day and shackled for that hour. The new guards are very racist and politically prejudiced. Now they don’t let them have the phones too much and they don’t know if they’ll get the tablets. (Inmates share a few electronic tablets and use a common phone to communicate with family and defense counsel.) Some people don’t have family to send them any money for commissary so they can’t buy extra food or personal items.” (The defendant is not charged with any violent crimes.)
“All that I’m saying is fact and truth . . . it can be verified by all of the Patriots . . . most of which are like me and committed no violence and ARE HERE WITH MISDEMEANOR OFFENSES. We are the object of ridicule all because of leftist media pushing a false narrative. Its ironic how we are in our Nations Capitol yet being treated as Un-American as one can be treated.”
American Greatness will continue to update reports from the jail.
On Thursday, FBI Director Christopher Wray repeatedly assured the House Judiciary Committee his agency has “one standard” of justice for all political protesters.
Unless he can point to a prison in the nation’s capital specifically used to house Antifa and Black Lives Matters protesters, something tells me that testimony is not at all accurate.
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Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. She is the author of Disloyal Opposition: How the NeverTrump Right Tried―And Failed―To Take Down the President. Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review. She also has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, and Genetic Literacy Project. She is the co-host of ‘Happy Hour podcast with Julie and Liz.’ She is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and lives in suburban Chicago with her husband and two daughters.