Attorney Joseph McBride, who represents Capitol protester Richard Barnett, was in the news earlier this week after an interview on CNN went off the rails when he was mocked by anchor John Avlon for alleging that protesters arrested for their roles in the January 6 protest were being “tortured.”
His assessment was a reference to months of solitary confinement, as many of those arrested are being denied bail. But he also said they were “being beaten, they’re being starved, they’re denied medical care, they’re being denied the right to worship, they’re being cut off from their attorneys.”
In an appearance Thursday on Newsmax TV’s “Greg Kelly Reports,” the lawyer would repeat those claims while offering more details in support of the serious allegations.
Host Greg Kelly began the interview by clarifying a widely held perception that Barnett was photographed sitting at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk, confirming with McBride that he was actually sitting at a staffer’s desk.
The two also discuss how the lawyer was able to get Barnett freed back in April, while many others languish in jail pretrial, six-plus months after the incident.
“What I can say about the Jan. 6 protesters who remain incarcerated or detained at this point, is that their constitutional rights and human rights are being violated by the Department of Justice and the federal government at this very moment,” McBride said.
“The law is clear that no punishment of any kind is appropriate for a detainee,” the lawyer said. “Despite that, numerous detainees are being held in solitary confinement for long periods of time. They are being denied medical care. They’re taking beatings. They’re being denied sleep. They’re being psychologically, emotionally, and physically tortured on a regular basis.”
The Newmax TV host interrupted to clarify whether it was fellow prisoners or jail staff beating the protesters.
“I’m alleging that the guards are beating them up,” McBride responded. “The staff are beating prisoners on a regular basis and have been doing so for a long time. This is no exaggeration.”
“Was your client Richard Barnett beaten up by staff?” Kelly asked.
“He absolutely was,” McBride replied. “He was beaten. He was dragged. He was hog-tied. One time his pants dropped below his ankles exposing his private parts while he was taking a beating in front of a female officer. And he had to beg and plead to pull his pants up out of embarrassment.”
McBride further noted that solitary confinement is widely accepted as torture by the ACLU, the United Nations, the Legal Aid Society and even Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
“At this point, we’re going to call on Amnesty International to investigate the human rights violations taking place in the D.C. gulag,” he added.
This is not the first time a lawyer representing a Jan. 6 protester has said these people are being beaten.
Attorney Elisabeth Pasqualini, who represents Ryan Samsel, said in April her client was beaten so badly he had to have his jaw wired shut and couldn’t see out of his right eye and may lose vision in it, CBS News reported.
Samsel is accused of pushing over barriers and knocking down a police officer, who suffered a concussion.
Pasqualini said she learned of the incident when two attorneys representing other defendants told her Samsel was in the hospital after getting “a beatdown” by a guard.
D.C. Department of Corrections did a department probe and cleared the officer of any wrongdoing, according to the network.
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