The House Select J6 Committee allegedly failed to preserve records, including its communications with the Biden White House, foiling Republican efforts to investigate the committee’s work.
Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight for the Committee on House Administration, told Fox News that the now defunct J6 committee also failed to provide any evidence that it looked into Capitol Hill security failures on the day of the riot.
The J6 Committee was comprised of nine members of the House—seven Democrats and two anti-Trump Republicans, former Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) censured both GOP lawmakers in February of 2022. Later that year Cheney was voted out of office, and Kinzinger retired from politics. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) chaired the partisan J6 committee.
Loudermilk told Fox that he is having trouble gathering the information he needs to examine the committee’s work because key J6 committee documents, data and video depositions are missing.
“Part of our task as this oversight subcommittee is to actually address the security failures, look into how did it happen… how were these folks able to get into the Capitol,” Loudermilk said. He said the documents they obtained came over in boxes and was completely unorganized.
“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.”
Loudermilk explained that the “Blue Team” was a group of J6 committee members who were was assigned to investigate security failures at the Capitol.
The Georgia Republican told Fox that according to sources, the Blue Team was essentially “shut down” so the committee could focus on placing the blame on former President Trump.
“We’ve got lots of depositions, we’ve got lots of subpoenas, we’ve got video and other documents provided through subpoenas by individuals. But we’re not seeing anything from the Blue Team as far as reports on the investigation they did looking into the actual breach itself,” he said.
“What we also realized we didn’t have was the videos of all the depositions,” Loudermilk added.
Loudermilk said he has been contacted by a defense attorney that needed access to key information in one of the video depositions, and the committee realized it did not have the videos he was seeking.
Fox News Digital obtained correspondence letters between Loudermilk and Thompson’s offices in which the two disagreed on whether the J6 committee preserved what it was required to under House rules.
Shortly after Republicans won the House in November 2022, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told Thompson in a letter: “It is imperative that all information collected be preserved not just for institutional prerogatives but for transparency to the American people,” he wrote. “The American people have a right to know that the allegations you have made are supported by the facts.”
Loudermilk said told Thompson in a June letter that the committee was “required by law and House rules to preserve and turn over all data related to their investigation at the end of the congressional term in December.”
Thompson wrote in response that Loudermilk’s letter had many “factual errors” and claimed his committee had followed the rules and turned over “4 terabytes” of data.
Loudermilk told Fox News that he has only received 2.5 terabytes of data and noted that the first footnote in Thompson’s letter to him on July 7 acknowledged they did not keep what they were supposed to.
Thompson wrote in that footnote: “Consistent with guidance from the Office of the Clerk and other authorities, the Select Committee did not archive temporary committee records that were not elevated by the Committee’s actions, such as use in hearings or official publications, or those that did not further its investigative activities. Accordingly, and contrary to your letter’s implication, the Select Committee was not obligated to archive all video recordings of transcribed interviews or depositions. Based on guidance from House authorities, the Select Committee determined that the written transcripts provided by nonpartisan, professional official reporters, which the witnesses and Select Committee staff had the opportunity to review for errata, were the official, permanent records of transcribed interviews and depositions for the purposes of rule VII.”
“He’s saying they decided they didn’t have to,” Loudermilk told Fox. “It was clear in law they had to especially and, I mean, if there was any question, the fact that they used the videos in the hearings would dictate that it had to be preserved. The more we go in the more we’re realizing that there’s things that we don’t have. We don’t have anything about security failures at the Capitol, we don’t have the videos of the depositions.”
An investigation into the security failures could have explained why security warnings were ignored leading up to the Capitol Hill riot. Steven A. Sund, former chief of the Capitol Police, told former Fox News host Tucker Carlson in an interview that never aired that he was denied National Guard service ahead of the protest and was denied access to National Guard troops for 71 minutes during the riot. Sund said he believed that intelligence officials in power were aware of the potential for violence in advance and covered it up by failing to share the information to those who needed it.
“If I was allowed to do my job as a chief, we wouldn’t be here,” Sund said in the interview with Carlson. “This didn’t have to happen. Everything appears to be a cover-up.”
Sund resigned from his position shortly after the riot amid mounting pressure from Congress and the Capitol Police union.
On January 6, even while we’re under attack, I was restricted by federal law (2 U.S. Code § 1970 Assistance by Executive departments and agencies) from bringing in federal assistance, to include the National Guard, without FIRST obtaining approval from the House and Senate… pic.twitter.com/Ajn6ZSSdQy
— Chief Steven Sund (@ChiefSund) August 10, 2023
Former Capitol Police Lt. Tarik “T.K.” Johnson recently wrote on social media that “EVERY demonstrator and EVERY police officer there on J6 was set-up.”
In multiple media interviews, Johnson, who was suspended three days after the Capitol riot for wearing a Trump hat, has accused former Assistant Chief Yogananda Pittman of ignoring his repeated calls for direction as the protest spun out of control.
Johnson wrote on X that he was suspended after coming forward as a whistleblower to Senator Patrick Leahy (D- Vt.).
He also said more Capitol police officers would come forward but there are no whistleblower protections for USCP officers. “That’s why they can’t come forward without ending their careers,” he wrote on X.