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Reps. Roy, Massie push DOJ for information on Capitol riot prosecutions

"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," Roy and Massie wrote in a letter to DOJ.

Updated: July 18, 2021 - 3:19pm

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Representatives Chip Roy (R-TX) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) sent a follow-up letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday requesting information on the investigations and prosecutions of Americans involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

In the letter, the congressmen wrote that they have not received a response from the DOJ to a May letter asking the same questions on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot prosecutions, and giving a deadline of July 21 to respond.

"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," the letter reads. "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."

Roy and Massie added that while the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was violent, as "140 officers were tragically injured and rioters caused around $30 million in damage," the DOJ is making those prosecutions a priority while not prioritizing prosecutions of the riots from last summer, where "more than 2,000 officers were injured in protests and riots and rioters across the country caused more than $1 billion in damage, the most expensive in insurance history."

The congressmen wrote that Garland has made comments that only confirm the importance of congressional oversight of DOJ 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,' " they wrote.

Roy and Massie pushed back on Garland's testimony, writing: "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."

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