House GOP raise prospect of criminal referrals for obstruction for former members of defunct House Jan. 6 Select Committee over alleged destruction and hiding of evidence

 March 15, 2024

In a stunning reversal of sorts, members of the now-defunct House Jan. 6 Select Committee, who sought to aid the prosecution of former President Donald Trump and others in connection with the Capitol riot of 2021, are now facing the prospect of being criminally prosecuted themselves, Breitbart reported.

Those former committee members are alleged to have destroyed or hidden gathered evidence and testimony that conflicted with the Democrat-led probe's preset anti-Trump narratives, even after they were explicitly warned by House Republican leadership to preserve everything collected during the months-long investigation.

The threat of possible criminal referrals for some or all of the former Jan. 6 committee members came from Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), chair of the House Administration Oversight Subcommittee, which is conducting its own separate dual investigation of the prior committee's actions and the Jan. 6 security failures that the prior committee ignored in its singularly focused quest to "get Trump."

Possible accountability for alleged obstruction

Just the News reported Wednesday that Rep. Loudermilk signaled during an interview that he would seek to hold "accountable" members of the now-defunct House Jan. 6 Select Committee, whether through criminal referrals for obstruction to the Justice Department or by way of House Ethics Committee investigations or formal censures.

That threat stems from his frustrations that certain witness interview transcripts and videos, along with other evidence that ran counter to the committee's preset narratives, were not only withheld from the public but were also, in some cases, "deleted, destroyed, moved to other federal agencies or locked behind passwords that have not been recovered," per the outlet.

"As far as holding people accountable, yes, they should be," Loudermilk told Just the News' John Solomon. "But I think that's going to be a little ways down the road, because there is so much more information that we need to get. And we need to build not only this, to get the truth out to the American people, but see just how big this case potentially is for obstructing."

If not criminal referrals, ethics violation investigations and formal censure

Rep. Loudermilk told Solomon that despite Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) being the chairman of the Jan. 6 committee, the real power and control in that committee was Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY), who is no longer a member of Congress.

"There's still documents that we need to get hold of. We still don't have passwords for the encrypted documents," he said. "It's amazing that, you know, when I asked the former Chairman Bennie Thompson, 'all I want you to do is give me the passwords,' he said, 'I don't even know what you're talking about.'"

The congressman continued, "Well, I think it's coming down to he probably didn't, because now new information we're getting is that Liz Cheney ran that committee."

Loudermilk acknowledged that criminal referrals for obstruction were a longshot, given the immunity that members of Congress enjoy, which is why he was also considering referrals for formal censures and ethics violation investigations.

"Those are options. We also have to look at what other options are there. There’s also censure-ship, ethics, obviously, but also consider there are members of that Select Committee who are no longer members of Congress. So they may fall under a different scenario," he explained. "So we do have the tools of members of Congress, but also, active members of Congress have certain protections. So we'll have to work on that. Because as you talked about earlier, we're in uncharted territory right now. And so we're going to have to work through this."

Initial findings of the investigation of the investigation

Just the News noted that Rep. Loudermilk's comments came just days after his subcommittee released an initial report on the findings of its own follow-up investigation of the now-defunct committee's probe along with the security failures that were ignored by that prior committee.

Those findings included, among other things, that the committee destroyed or hid evidence that didn't align with its predetermined outcome and the anti-Trump "political narrative," that ex-Rep. Cheney was really in charge of things, that the committee hyped up testimony from certain witnesses while downplaying conflicting testimony from others, and that the committee colluded with Georgia's Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in her criminal investigation of former President Trump.

"For nearly two years former Speaker Nancy Pelosi's January 6th Select Committee promoted hearsay and cherry-picked information to promote its political goal -- to legislatively prosecute former President Donald Trump," Loudermilk said in part in a statement. "It was no surprise that the Select Committee’s final report focused primarily on former President Trump and his supporters, not the security failures and reforms needed to ensure the United States Capitol is safer today than in 2021."

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.