Rep. Roy leads effort to get answers on January 6 defendants despite DOJ stonewalling

July 15, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON—On Thursday, Rep. Chip Roy (TX-21), along with his friend and colleague Rep. Thomas Massie (KY-04) continued to demand answers from the Biden administration on allegations of politicized mistreatment of January 6 defendants, following months of silence from the Department of Justice.

 

As of the drafting of this letter, my office has received no response to my request for a briefing on these prosecutions,” reads a letter from the congressmen sent to FBI Director Chris Wray Thursday. “And in the intervening time period, many more Americans have been arrested, overly aggressive tactics have continued, and you have made comments that only confirm the importance of congressional oversight of the Department’s activities.”

 

Thursday's letter was sent as a follow up to an initial inquiry the two legislators sent to the DOJ on May 13, 2021.

 

On May 12, you testified to the Senate Appropriations Committee that, 'if there has to be a hierarchy of things that we prioritize, this would be the one we would prioritize because it is the most dangerous threat to our democracy,'”  the letter explains. “Respectfully, such a sweeping exaggeration can be viewed as nothing more than political hyperbole and a dangerous politicization of law enforcement activities that may punish those engaging in protected speech by lumping them in with those who committed acts of violence.”

 

Meanwhile, the congressmen add,  “We continue to hear stories of overly aggressive and violent tactics from FBI agents executing arrest warrants on individuals with no risk of violence or who committed mere trespass offenses.  And DOJ continues to push for pretrial incarceration of citizens with no history of, or propensity for, violence, only to be rebuffed by judges time and time again.  The American people deserve to know why.”

 

Making it clear that “these questions cannot continue to go unanswered,” Reps. Roy and Massie conclude by giving the administration a deadline of July 21 to respond and schedule a briefing on the matter.

 

Full text of the letter can be found here and below.

 

Merrick B. Garland

Attorney General

U.S. Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20530-0001

 

Dear Attorney General Garland:

 

We are writing in follow up to our May 13, 2021 letter requesting information on the investigations into the events at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.  As of the drafting of this letter, our offices have received no response to our request for a briefing on these prosecutions.  And in the intervening time period, many more Americans have been arrested, overly aggressive tactics have continued, and you have made comments that only confirm the importance of congressional oversight of the Department’s activities.

 

On May 12, you testified to the Senate Appropriations Committee that, “if there has to be a hierarchy of things that we prioritize, this would be the one we would prioritize because it is the most dangerous threat to our democracy.”  Respectfully, such a sweeping exaggeration can be viewed as nothing more than political hyperbole and a dangerous politicization of law enforcement activities that may punish those engaging in protected speech by lumping them in with those who committed acts of violence.  We continue to hear stories of overly aggressive and violent tactics from FBI agents executing arrest warrants on individuals with no risk of violence or who committed mere trespass offenses.  And DOJ continues to push for pretrial incarceration of citizens with no history of, or propensity for, violence, only to be rebuffed by judges time and time again.  The American people deserve to know why.

 

This despite the fact that we hear little to nothing from DOJ on last summer’s violence that affected the lives and livelihoods of Americans all across the country.  In the January 6 riot, 140 officers were tragically injured[1] and rioters caused around $30 million in damage[2].  The criminals who committed those acts of violence deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.  However, last summer more than 2,000 officers were injured[3] in protests and riots and rioters across the country caused more than $1 billion in damage, the most expensive in insurance history[4].  One of these events is a priority for DOJ and the other is not.  We realize that much of the law enforcement responsibility for last summer’s riots is on state and local officials, however, there are clear federal interests involved here as well.

 

We again renew our request for a briefing on the status of the January 6 investigations.  These questions cannot continue to go unanswered.  Please respond to this request no later than July 21, 2021. 

 

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Chip Roy

 

Member of Congress

 

 

Thomas Massie

 

Member of Congress

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