150-year-old rule could be spark that lights fire under DOJ

150-year-old rule could be spark that lights fire under DOJ

150-year-old rule could be spark that lights fire under DOJ

A tea party activist says the new GOP-controlled House of Representatives might use an 1800's-era law to force the Justice Department to respond to efforts aimed at getting fair treatment of the January 6 prisoners.

In December, a group of more than two dozen Ohio conservative leaders signed a letter to Representative Jim Jordan, asking the Ohio lawmaker if the Judiciary Committee – of which Jordan is now the chairman – could expose the plight of the January 6 political prisoners who remain incarcerated in a District of Columbia jail. The group suggested that the committee invite the prisoners themselves and/or their family members to testify to Congress about the unjust treatment they have endured over the past two years.

"While they will most likely not be able to testify about what they did on January 6th, because of their current legal cases, that is not our goal," the letter explains. "Instead, we think that it is critical for your Judiciary Committee to expose the injustices and cruelty committed by members of our Government on American Citizens since that day."

Tom Zawistowski, the primary signer of that letter, is president of the tea party-affiliated We the People Convention and the Ohio Citizens PAC. He says the new Congress could use the Holman Rule to force the DOJ's hand. First adopted in 1876, the Holman Rule was recently reinstated by the House Republicans for the 118th Congress. As the GOP's rule change document explains, it would allow "amendments to appropriations legislation that would reduce the salary of or fire specific federal employees, or cut a specific program."

Zawistowski, Tom (We the People Convention) Zawistowski

"[It] hasn't been implemented in many years," Zawistowski notes, "but it allows Congress to literally say We're reducing Christopher Wray's salary to a dollar until he comes and testifies or until he provides these documents." Wray is director of the FBI.

"And then in a bigger level … we think the court system in Washington, DC, should be abolished because it can't be anything but corrupt," he adds.

Zawistowski shares that Jake Lang, one of the J6 prisoners, told him he had "zero" chance of getting a fair trial in the nation's capital.

"[Lang told me] there's no chance of winning. I [asked him]: So, what about an appeal? And he made it clear to me that it would take years for them to get in front of a judge in the appeals court," he tells AFN.

According to Zawistowski, that means a presidential pardon is the only solution for the J6 prisoners. "We have to win the 2024 election, and the president we elect is going to have to pardon them," he concludes.