Federal judge: Republicans 'delusional' about why Jan. 6 rioters are locked up

U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth today blasted Republican lawmakers who continue to spread the "delusion" that non-violent participants in the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection are unfairly being held in jail before trial. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA) and Lauren Boebert (CO) have been among those protesting the loudest on the issue.

Lamberth roundly dismissed that theory, according to a report by Politico as he rejected a bid for release by a Pennsylvania man accused of some of the most violent and offensive rhetoric in any Jan. 6 case. The man’s history was full of racist and anti-Semitic outbursts as well as stark threats to assassinate lawmakers.

The defendant is Marshall Neefe, who worked in construction and delivered bottled water. He was arrested in September and has been locked up ever since. He is accused of bringing to the riot a large wooden club he fashioned — dubbed “the Commie Knocker” — and slamming a large metal sign, along with other rioters, into a line of police officers guarding the Capitol.

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In petitioning the court to keep him behind bars, prosecutors revealed a series of messages that Neefe had sent on Facebook using the “N-word” and discussing lynching people. Neefe also had made violent threats towards lawmakers, saying that Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell deserved “a bullet in the head.” He also talked openly of igniting a civil war and indicated that he was willing to return to Washington, D.C. with firearms to renew the attack on the Capitol.

After laying out his rationale for detaining Neefe, Lamberth added this highly unusual addendum:

“Some members of the public and even a few members of Congress retain the impression that peaceful political protestors are being held in jail pending trial,” wrote Lamberth, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan. “Neefe’s detention disproves that delusion. Neefe is detained not because of his beliefs, but because of his alleged violent actions and his expressed intent to engage in violent activity again.”

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