Jacob Lang, who was arrested for his role in the January 6, 2020 Capitol riot 10 days later and has remained in jail since, says he spent 200 days in solitary confinement, with 23 hours a day alone in a cell.
But now 40 of the January 6 defendants – all males – are housed together in a special “pod” at the D.C. jail, where the “environment is different from any other jail in America,” he says.
“I’m in the pod with 40 other patriot men, we’re hanging tough,” he told The Daily Wire in a November phone interview from jail. They sing the national anthem. “We do Bible studies, I lead a morning Bible study, another man leads an evening Bible study. Sometimes we have little rifts about people wanting to take plea deals, horrible six-year plea deals. We come together and uplift them.”
Lang is a previous New York congressional candidate and self-styled libertarian whose prior criminal record consists of “one misdemeanor charge from five years ago for some pot in the Hamptons,” he said.
While the defendants went into jail looking like normal people, many now look significantly stranger: The D.C. jail denies barbering services, including shaves, to unvaccinated inmates. That has meant many of the January 6 suspects haven’t shaved in months, which they argue leads to them attending court appearances looking like the Unabomber, causing potential prejudice in their cases.
They have also had visitors most inmates don’t: members of Congress including Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX). “We’re being held on pre-trial detention because supposedly we’re so dangerous,” Lang remarked, yet they’ll let “some of the most powerful people in the world” stand next to us.
The charges against Lang, who was one of the first inmates in the pod, are also among the most severe of the group. “I have allegations of eight alleged assaults on police officers,” he said.
An FBI affidavit says a media photograph “shows what appears to be LANG in a crowd, holding a protective shield as other members of the crowd swing bats and batons at officers, as well as throw projectiles at them. LANG went on to retrieve a riot helmet with the letters “MPDC” from the ground and wear it for the duration of the video.” It says other photos “show what appears to be LANG carrying a protective shield and engaging with law enforcement.”
It said an Instagram post from the day showed a woman asking him “So what do you think happens next,” and him responding “Guns… That’s it. One word. The First Amendment didn’t work, we pull out the Second.”
Lang says he was saving lives from police brutality. He said he attempted to pull the body of Rosanne Boyland out of a Capitol tunnel after “police beat her on the ground and pushed a massive swarm of people on top of her.” Boyland died that day.
Another man present that day, Phillip Anderson, filed an affidavit with the court saying that Lang saved his life. Anderson said police were using “excessive force” against him and he could not breathe. He said he heard Lang warning the crowd, including officers, that people were being crushed. “Jake proceeded to save my life by pulling me out of the pile of people. If Jake was not present to help me, I would have died on January 6, 2021, and it would have been because of the actions that the police took,” Anderson, who is black, wrote.
Lang says the way January 6 suspects have been treated stands in sharp contrast to the treatment of criminals in Democrat-run cities, where “there’s a revolving door, people are being let out for robbery.”
One of his own lawyers, Marty Tankleff, spent 17 years in prison after a wrongful conviction for homicide that was later overturned, Lang said. “Marty walks into court in late September when I had my bond motion. He looks the judge in the eye and says ‘in 2000 I was charged with double homicide and I was let out on bond. My client is alleged to smash a baseball bat on a riot shield. Nobody got hurt. And he’s not allowed to be let out on bond?’”
It is also in contrast to the treatment of others who attended riots over the last two years, he said. “There was a protest outside the Department of Interior for climate change and there were these leftist activists throwing bike racks at cops, they were just given $50 violation tickets, loitering, disrupting the peace. When we get arrested for the same allegation, we’re stripped of everything. I haven’t had a visitation in 10 months,” he said.
He thinks other Americans may be increasingly able to relate to what he has gone through. “There’s FBI agents who have become an arm of the Democratic party. Look at what they’re doing to parents at school board meetings,” he said.
Lang says prosecutors “tried to offer me this thing with my plea deal, it’s called a debriefment. It’s like a gag deal. It’s not a plea deal, it’s the minimum sentencing guidelines, 10 years. They want to ask me anything about January 6 but I am not allowed to talk about it afterwards… Anything I tell them I’m not allowed to repeat. So they’ll lock me away for a decade and I won’t be able to tell my story.”
“This story could actually be the opposite of kneeling on George Floyd,” he said. “An unarmed black man [Anderson] almost died at the hands of police brutality on the steps of the Capitol and he was saved by a white Jewish Trump supporter. Where’s that headline?”
“In that tunnel I had a little Mexican grandma to my left, a huge black guy to my right, an Asian lady behind me, and we were all in that tunnel screaming ‘USA, we love this country.’ We got beat down. I got shot in the foot with a rubber bullet, I had a shattered foot and had to be carried out of there,” he added.