by WorldTribune Staff, August 10, 2023
The Select Committee on Jan. 6 failed to preserve documents and videos it spent months and millions in taxpayer dollars to collect, a GOP congressman said.
The committee selectively destroyed the records despite House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s directive not to.
Georgia Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk, who is overseeing the GOP investigation into the committee’s work, told Fox News Digital on Tuesday that the select committee failed to adequately preserve documents, data, and video depositions – including communications it had with the Biden White House that are still missing.
The now-disbanded “J6” committee, which was run by Democrats and included RINOs Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, has also failed to provide any evidence that it looked into Capitol Hill security failures on the day of the protest, Loudermilk said.
“Nothing was indexed. There was no table of contents index. Usually when you conduct this level of investigation, you use a database system and everything is digitized, indexed. We got nothing like that. We just got raw data,” he said. “So it took us a long time going through it and one thing I started realizing is we don’t have anything much at all from the Blue Team [which was to have investigated security lapses],” Loudermilk said.
Loudermilk added that the “Blue Team” was “shut down” before it could look into the issue of security lapses at the Capitol, because the committee intended to blame former President Donald Trump, who has since been indicted for allegedly inspiring breach of the U.S. Capitol.
The committee had accused Loudermilk publicly of helping the J6 protesters by giving a tour of the Capitol on Jan. 5, 2021. Thompson and Cheney had claimed to have evidence implicating him. It was only because Capitol Police were able to review surveillance footage that they were able to conclude that Loudermilk had done nothing wrong, and wrote to the committee to exonerate him, saying that the representative had just been showing constituents around. (There were no real repercussions for Thompson and Cheney’s false accusation.)
Several witnesses who appeared before the select committee said their testimony had been selectively edited to distort or even reverse its meaning, and that members of the committee had publicly accused them of wrongdoing, without evidence, and which they had denied in their testimony. Republicans also suspected that the committee was communicating with the Biden White House, and with the Department of Justice — perhaps to circumvent witnesses’ procedural rights in obtaining material for future prosecutions.
Because of such concerns, McCarthy wrote to committee chair Bennie Thompson in November 2022, shortly after Republicans won the House back in the midterm elections, stating: “It is imperative that all information collected be preserved not just for institutional prerogatives but for transparency to the American people. The American people have a right to know that the allegations you have made are supported by the facts.”
Thompson and committee vice chair Cheney wrote to the White House and said they would, by law, preserve all of the committee’s materials, and that they would pass the materials into the custody of the National Archives. Thompson also told CNN that the committee would preserve all of its materials.
But, in a letter to Loudermilk, Thompson admitted that the committee had not preserved what he called “temporary” materials, which included videos and transcripts that were not used “in [public] hearings or official publications” of the committee, or to “further its investigative activities.”
Trump said in social media post:
So now that I have full Subpoena Power because of the Freedom of Speech Sham Indictment by Crooked Joe Biden, Deranged Jack Smith, and the DOJ, it has just been reported that the Unselect January 6th Committee of Political Hacks and Thugs has illegally destroyed their Records and Documents. This is unthinkable, and the Fake Political Indictment against me must be immediately withdrawn. The system is Rigged & Corrupt, very much like the Presidential Election of 2020. We are a Nation in Decline!
Conservative radio host Mark Levin pointed out during his Tuesday broadcast that the committee’s destruction of its own records appeared to be an attempt to obstruct future Republican investigations of its work. It had also effectively denied Trump of access to evidence that might potentially help his defense in the criminal prosecutions that the committee itself had urged the Department of Justice to launch. And it also prevented other witnesses from clearing their names.