Dozens of former President Donald Trump’s supporters who were charged with crimes related to the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 are said to still be in jail in Washington pending trial — but that may soon change.
A federal judge just ordered one defendant who was charged after the riot to be immediately transferred to another jail following a surprise inspection of the facility by U.S. Marshals that reportedly uncovered “deplorable” conditions and alleged mistreatment of prisoners, according to The Daily Wire.
Just last month, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth had held two top officials at the D.C. jail in contempt of court over similar allegations regarding mistreatment of Jan. 6 detainees like Christopher Worrell, who on Wednesday was ordered to be immediately transferred and then released from state custody.
According to a report cited by the Daily Caller, Judge Lamberth actually dispatched the U.S. Marshals to conduct the surprise inspection of the Washington-based facility last month. What they found, the judge said, was “beyond belief.”
In response, Lamberth said Worrell will be immediately transferred to a different jail and then processed to home detention so that he can begin receiving chemotherapy for cancer. The defendant had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and Lamberth said he had “zero confidence” that the D.C. jail would actually provide treatment for the disease to Worrell without retaliation.
According to the Daily Caller, another 400 inmates — not connected to the Jan. 6 riot — are also being transferred out of the facility due to the “deplorable” conditions discovered during the inspection.
That reportedly includes clogged toilets, poor food quality, water being turned off for several days at a time “for punitive reasons,” and, in one case, an inmate who developed an infection after being sprayed with pepper spray who was then prevented from washing the substance off his face for several days.
On top of that, the Marshals said that staff at the jail were deliberately “antagonizing detainees” and instructing them to be uncooperative with and to “stop snitching” to federal investigators, the Daily Caller said.
“Does no one care?”
The development comes just a few weeks after The Daily Beast first reported that Lamberth had D.C. jail warden Wanda Patten and D.C. Department of Corrections director Quincy Booth held in civil contempt of court over conditions at the same facility.
The charges reportedly stemmed from the fact that Lamberth had previously ordered the jail to tend to Worrell’s broken wrist, only to find that a delay involving the detainee’s records had resulted in nothing being done to address the injury.
“It’s more than just inept and bureaucratic shuffling of papers,” Lamberth said at the time, according to The Daily Beast. “Does no one care? Does no one follow up?”
In addition to holding those officials in contempt, the judge also announced that he had referred the jail to the Justice Department for an investigation into whether detainees were “abused” or had their civil rights violated, The Daily Beast reported.