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Douglas Andrews / October 18, 2021

Judge Orders Probe of J6 Prisoner Treatment

Judge Royce Lamberth, a Reagan appointee, has seen enough of the rotten treatment of the January 6 detainees.

Better late than never, but the shameful treatment of January 6 detainees may have finally run up against a judge who understands and appreciates our Constitution and its Bill of Rights.

U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth, an appointee of Ronald Reagan, ruled last week that two Washington, DC, corrections officials were in contempt of court for having failed to turn over documents related to their failure to provide necessary medical care to a January 6 detainee, and the judge called upon Joe Biden’s Department of Justice to investigate whether the jailers violated the civil rights of one or more detainees from the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

“For the reasons stated in open court,” said Lamberth, “it is adjudged that the Warden of the D.C. jail Wanda Patten and Director of the D.C. Department of Corrections Quincy Booth are in civil contempt of court. The Clerk of the Court is ordered to transmit a copy of this order to the Attorney General of the United States for appropriate inquiry into potential civil rights violations of Jan. 6 defendants, as exemplified in this case.”

Lamberth continued: “I find that the civil rights of the defendant have been abused. I don’t know if it’s because he’s a January 6th defendant or not, but I find this matter should be referred to the attorney general of the United States for a civil rights investigation into whether the D.C. Department of Corrections is violating the civil rights of January 6th defendants … in this and maybe other cases.”

The case Judge Lamberth is referring to is that of Christopher Worrell, who’s been charged with multiple felonies related to the January 6 riot. Worrell broke his hand in jail in May and was recommended for surgery in June. Tough luck, said his jailers, Patten and Booth, who months later still hadn’t addressed his injury.

One wonders whether Worrell, had he been a defendant in any other case — say a Black Lives Matter rioter or an antifa hooligan or a DC statue toppler — would’ve had his Eighth Amendment protection against “cruel and unusual punishments” so blatantly ignored by his imprisoners. We think the question answers itself.

We’ll soon find out how the feds treat one of their own, though, as a U.S. Capitol Police officer has been indicted for obstruction of justice after prosecutors say he tipped off a rioter by telling him to remove incriminating Facebook posts of his involvement in the January 6 riot. The officer, 50-year-old Michael Riley, is a 25-year veteran of the force and told the suspect he “agrees” with his “political stance.”

As for Worrell: His case is certainly disturbing, but it’s not the worst among the January 6 detainees. That distinction likely belongs to 66-year-old retired Navy Lieutenant Commander Thomas Caldwell, who, as independent journalist Julie Kelly reported, was awakened with his wife at 5:30 a.m. on January 19, painted with red laser dots from the rifles of a raiding force of approximately 20 federal agents, dragged across the grass by his ankles, cuffed, stuffed, and placed in solitary confinement for 49 of the next 53 days — all in a pathetically sloppy case of mistaken identity.

Caldwell was finally released in March, and he’s now on “home detention” as he awaits a trial that won’t begin until mid-2022 at the earliest. So much for the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of a “fair and speedy public trial before a jury,” and so much for the equal administration of justice.

Here’s hoping Judge Lamberth stays on the case of the January 6 detainees and holds accountable everyone who’s violated their civil rights.

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