House Republicans accuse Justice Department of persecuting Capitol rioters

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One man arrested on Jan. 6 had 11 Molotov cocktails in his truck.

Four far-right House Republicans have announced that they will hold a news conference outside the Department of Justice on Tuesday to demand "answers from Attorney General (AG) Merrick Garland on the status of January 6th prisoners and related investigations."

Reps. Matt Gaetz (FL), Louie Gohmert (TX), Paul Gosar (AZ), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA) say they will demand answers about the "treatment" of people arrested at and after the riot at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump on Jan. 6.

"Sadly, there exists two systems of justice in our country today: one for former President Trump along with those who support or don't hate him, and the other for everyone else," Gohmert wrote in a statement announcing the news conference. "What we are seeing now is harassment and persecution of Trump supporters, many of whom were not even in Washington, DC that day."

Nearly 600 people who entered the Capitol in order to block certification of President Joe Biden's victory, many of whom recorded their actions and broadcast them on social media, have been arrested and charged in the attack.

Some of those arrested remain behind bars, including Lonnie Coffman, an Alabama man who was indicted on 17 charges, including possession of unregistered and unlicensed firearms. Coffman was arrested near the Capitol on Jan. 6 with 11 Molotov cocktails and a number of firearms.

As of May 28, at least 70% of those who were charged in the attack were no longer in jail, according to a report from the Guardian, which noted that typically only 25% of those indicted on federal charges are released prior to trial.

Among those released is Eric Munchel, who was photographed inside the Senate chamber wearing tactical gear and carrying plastic zip tie handcuffs.

Gohmert and Gosar have continued to crusade for the insurrectionists, whitewashing their behavior and falsely saying they were not armed.

Gosar has also worked to make a martyr of Ashli Babbitt, the woman who was shot and killed when she attempted to force her way into the House chamber while lawmakers were being evacuated, saying she was "executed" by law enforcement and demanding the name of the officer who shot her during a House committee hearing.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) responded angrily to Gosar's comments.

One of just a few congressional Republicans to demand a full accounting of what happened on Jan. 6, Cheney tweeted, "On January 6, as the violent mob advanced on the House chamber, I was standing near @RepGosar and helped him open his gas mask. The Capitol Police led us to safety. It is disgusting and despicable to see Gosar lie about that day and smear the men and women who defended us."

The four GOP lawmakers are holding their news conference on the same day the House select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack will hold its first hearing.

The committee will hear testimony from law enforcement officers who responded to the attack on the Capitol, during which 150 officers were injured.

Republicans are up in arms that House Democrats launched a committee to probe the insurrection, with some Republicans fearing it will hurt the GOP's chances in the 2022 midterms.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is weighing punishing Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) for joining the committee on Speaker Nancy Pelosi's invitation, smearing them as "Pelosi Republicans."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.