Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) introduced a resolution Wednesday to censure Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and remove him from the Homeland Security Committee for violating House rules pertaining to the conservation of the January 6th Select Committee’s records.
According to House rules, a committee chair is required to turn over all committee records to the House Clerk at the close of Congress, in the interest of transparency and to preserve the historical record of Congress.
“House Rule VII governs official House records, requiring committees and officers to transfer to the Clerk, 1) any noncurrent records of committees and subcommittees, and 2) those created or acquired by House Officers and their staffs in the course of their official duties.”
“Lawmakers investigating the @weaponization of the federal government are unable to determine which records of the @January6thCmte were kept or destroyed before Republicans took control of the House,” Gaetz explained in a tweet Wednesday afternoon. “Rep. Thompson, in a flagrant violation of House rules, improperly sent the records to the Biden White House and outside the rightful possession of Congress.”
The Florida congressman added: “At a minimum, Rep. Thompson should be censured by the House for this violation and REMOVED from the Committee on Homeland Security.”
Read my full press release below:
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) June 7, 2023
As the Chair of the Select Committee on January 6, it was Thompson’s responsibility “to ensure proper recordkeeping by a committee,” Gaetz said. However, Thompson’s own communications with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) indicate that this was not done, the Post Millennial reported.
He instead sent the records to DHS and asked DHS to turn them over to Archives with instructions as respected the redactions made to those documents in an effort to protect the identity of the Secret Service agents who provided testimony to the Jan 6 Select Committee.
“Representative Thompson intentionally violated or recklessly neglected” his recordkeeping responsibility, Gaetz declared.
Gaetz’s resolution recommends that four actions to be taken against Thompson:
“Resolved, that– (1) Representative Bennie Thompson of Mississippi be censured; (2) Representative Bennie Thompson forthwith present himself in the well of the House of Representatives for the pronouncement of censure; (3) Representative Bennie Thompson be censured with the public reading of this resolution by the Speaker; and (4) Representative Bennie Thompson be, and is hereby, removed from the Committee on Homeland Security.”