Fate of House Jan. 6 committee data wrapped in thriller

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, who was chairman of the now-defunct House Jan. 6 committee, received’t say what occurred to full transcripts and video of the committee’s depositions that GOP investigators now search.

When requested by The Washington Times if the Jan. 6 committee gave the investigators the total video depositions, not choose clips, he responded: “Everything we used in our proceedings, we filed consistently with what the law says.”

Mr. Thompson, Mississippi Democrat, drew a distinction between the unedited video recordings and the snippets used for shows on the Jan. 6 committee’s rigorously choreographed hearings.

“The law requires us that whatever product that we use, we archive that and that’s what we did,” he mentioned of the House Administration Committee’s request for the unedited movies. “Everything that we used as a committee product, we shared.”

The Times pressed Mr. Thompson about what occurred to the unedited video of the depositions that weren’t proven on the hearings.

“I have no idea,” Mr Thompson mentioned. “We’re not required to keep certain materials.”

Did the Jan. 6 committee, which is now being investigated by the Administration Committee, destroy paperwork or different materials?

“I’m not aware of the destruction of any documents,” Mr. Thompson mentioned. “I’m not aware of staff being instructed to destroy any documents.”

Rep. Barry Loudermilk, chairman of the Administration Committee’s oversight panel, mentioned in a letter Wednesday to Mr. Thompson that voters need to see greater than the cherry-picked video clips proven on the hearings.

“By failing to preserve these videos, you deny the American public the right to review the footage and make their own conclusions about witnesses’ truthfulness,” wrote Mr. Loudermilk, Georgia Republican.

The House Office of the Clerk’s guidelines and group handbook spells out the necessities for preserving committee data:

“A committee record is any document, regardless of format, that committee, subcommittee, and select committee members and staff create, receive, or maintain. All members and persons employed by the committee — on either the majority or minority — can generate a committee record.”

The Office of the Clerk has a number of classes of data {that a} committee usually generates and will maintain completely and switch to the Office of Art and Archives on the finish of a Congress. This contains “special media” similar to audio recordings of testimonies and interviews, images of occasions, together with these posted to social media and movies of occasions similar to testimonies and interviews.

Video recordings of committee hearings are straight transferred from the House Recording Studio to the National Archives. The committee doesn’t must ship these recordsdata to the Office of Art and Archives.

The handbook states: “Members and staff should be aware that original committee records are the property of the committee and are, therefore, official records of the House of Representatives. As such, committee records should be maintained separately from the records of a Member’s personal office.”

House Republicans additionally launched an inquiry into whether or not the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 Attack on the Capitol handed over paperwork and supplies to Fani Willis, the district lawyer in Fulton County, Georgia, who charged former President Donald Trump and 18 of his associates with making an attempt to overturn 2020 election leads to the state.

Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, and Mr. Loudermilk referred to as on Ms. Willis and Mr. Thompson to show over paperwork associated to coordination between the Georgia prosecutor’s workplace and the committee.

The inquiry stems from a Dec. 17, 2021, letter Ms. Willis despatched to Mr. Thompson requesting entry to committee data to assist her investigation of Mr. Trump.

She particularly requested entry to “recordings and transcripts of witness interviews and depositions, electronic and print records of communications, and records of travel.”

Mr. Thompson disputed that the committee shared data with Ms. Willis regardless of studies on the contrary in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“We did not share any records,” he mentioned. “That is incorrect.”

The Times contacted Ms. Willis’ workplace for remark however didn’t hear again.