Kevin McCarthy Letter to House J6 Committee Demands Staff Preserve Documents, Vows Hearings on Lax Capitol Security

 House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) sent a letter to House January 6th Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) on Wednesday demanding preservation of committee records for the incoming Republican controlled Congress next January. McCarthy also said Republicans would hold hearings on why the Capitol was “not secure” on January 6, 2021.

McCarthy is fighting to gather enough support within the GOP caucus to become Speaker and has been acting and issuing statements to prove his worthiness. It remains to be seen if he can sway the necessary 218 votes.

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The letter:

Dear Chairman Thompson: 

The American people chose Republicans to lead the 118th Congress. On January 3, 2023, your work as Chairman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol will come to an end. For those reasons, I remind you and your staff on the Committee to preserve all records collected and transcripts of testimony taken during your investigation in accordance with House Rule VII. As the Chairman, regardless of who may be directing the work of the Committee, you are responsible for the work done by its members and staff.

It is clear based on recent news reports that even your own members and staff of the Committee have no visibility into the totality of the investigation. Some reports suggest that entire swaths of findings will be left out of the Committee’s final report. You have spent a year and a half and millions of taxpayers’ dollars conducting this investigation. It is imperative that all information collected be preserved not just for institutional prerogatives but for transparency to the American people. The official Congressional Records do not belong to you or any member, but to the American people, and they are owed all of the information you gathered — not merely the information that comports with your political agenda. Although your Committee’s public hearings did not focus on why the Capitol complex was not secure on January 6, 2021, the Republican majority in the 118th Congress will hold hearings that do so. The American people have a right to know that the allegations you have made are supported by the facts and to be able to view the transcripts with an eye toward encouraged enforcement of 18 USC 1001.

Excerpt from 18 USC 1001:

(a)Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—
(1)falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;
(2)makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or
(3)makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;
shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both. If the matter relates to an offense under chapter 109A, 109B, 110, or 117, or section 1591, then the term of imprisonment imposed under this section shall be not more than 8 years.

NBC’s Ryan Nobles reported Thompson told reporters in response to McCarthy’s letter, “Not just preserved, but made available to the public. So you know, the subpoena I signed for him to come and testify before the committee will be part of the record.”

Excerpt from Los Angeles Times on Thompson’s update on the committee:

The chairman of the House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol says the body of the final report is nearly complete and should be released before Christmas.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., told reporters that the committee’s report will not be completed before Congress is scheduled to leave for the month on Dec. 16, but that there is a “good possibility” it will be out before Christmas.

Interviews for the more than yearlong investigation wrapped up this week after the panel heard from Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos; Kellyanne Conway, senior adviser to then-President Donald Trump; and Tony Ornato, the former Secret Service agent who served as White House deputy chief of staff.

It has not been decided whether the committee will hold another full hearing with witnesses and video presentations, but the committee does have to meet publicly to approve the report, which could be a vehicle for a discussion of the findings.

…The report will be eight chapters long and the panel could release hundreds of depositions — namely those for which the committee didn’t promise privacy — along with other raw information, Thompson said. The committee collected more than 1,000 depositions and hundreds of thousands of other documents, including emails, text messages and cellphone records.

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