GOP Reps. Massie, Roy Slam DOJ's Jan. 6 Probe
Two GOP lawmakers Thursday blasted the Biden Department of Justice, and chastised Attorney General Merrick Garland for "political hyperbole" and "dangerous politicization" of his investigations of the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol.
In a follow-up to their May 13 letter to Garland, GOP Reps. Chip Roy of Texas and Thomas Massie of Kentucky lamented the lack of response and decried additional arrests.
"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," they wrote.
They laid into Garland for his testimony 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."
"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," the pair wrote.
"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," they continued.
"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."
The pair also reiterated their earlier argument that while the events at the Capitol caused around $30 million in damage and injured 140 law enforcement officers, "last summer’s violence" — when protests and riots related to the George Floyd killing and the Black Lives Matter movement flared nationwide — injured "more than 2,000 officers" and caused "more than $1 billion in damage, the most expensive in insurance history."
"One of these events is a priority for DOJ and the other is not," they wrote.
The pair renewed their request for a briefing on the Jan. 6 probes.
In their earlier letter, the lawmakers wrote to Garland about their fear that "hyper-politicization" will mean unfair treatment for some of the Jan. 6 suspects.
"Those that damaged property and assaulted police officers on January 6th should rightfully face justice," the letter reads.
"However, the public outcry and hyper-politicization of the events on January 6th may incentivize prosecutors to use overly aggressive tactics, overcharge, and abuse the power of the federal government in order to satisfy favored political groups," they wrote.