By Jack Phillips
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told the House Jan. 6 committee to preserve the findings, including ones that are not included in the committee’s final report.
Several top lawmakers on the House Jan. 6 panel have signaled that the final report will be released before the new Congress takes over in early 2023. With the new panel, the select committee will dissolve, and Republicans—who have a majority—will likely not restore it.
“I remind you and your staff on the Committee to preserve all records collected and transcripts of testimony taken during your investigation,” McCarthy told the panel’s chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), in a letter (pdf) dated Wednesday. “Some reports suggest that entire swaths of findings will be left out of the Committee’s final report,” McCarthy stated.
McCarthy, who is currently leading a campaign to become the next House speaker after being named majority leader, wrote that 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.”
The Epoch Times has contacted the Jan. 6 panel for comment. Previously, Thompson said that he will release most of the committee’s interview transcripts in the near future, saying that it had finished interviewing its final witness—Wisconsin House Speaker Robin Vos—earlier this week.
In response to McCarthy’s demand, Thompson told reporters Wednesday that he hasn’t seen the House minority leader’s letter. Instead, Thompson issued a vaguely worded statement that McCarthy had the chance to testify and appoint members to the committee.
“He had a chance to have members on the committee. So he had a chance to come and testify before the committee. So I think the horse has left the barn. And we will do our work, we will end Dec. 31. If he wants to conduct whatever he wants as speaker, it’s his choice. But we sunset Dec. 31. He can read the report. We won’t have anything in our possession after Dec. 31,” Thompson told reporters.
Thompson added that a “subpoena I signed” to have McCarthy “come and testify before the committee will be part of the record.”
Earlier this week, Rep. Adam Schiff (R-Calif.), the outgoing chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a member of the select committee, indicated in an interview that the panel would remove some evidence from its final report.
“The evidence will all be made public,” Schiff told CNN on Sunday. “Now, we will have to make sure that we scrub that evidence for personally identifiable information, that the evidence that we provide protects people’s security, it doesn’t put them at risk. So there are things that we’re going to have to do along those lines.”
Neither Schiff nor Thompson have indicated when the select committee’s final report would be released in full. But Schiff said that “we’re very close” to reaching “consensus” on the report. Meanwhile, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) last week told CBS News “all the evidence” would be released “within a month.”
In his Wednesday letter, McCarthy indicated Republicans will hold hearings on security failures at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. He and other Republicans have suggested the GOP would launch a number of probes into a variety of topics, including President Joe Biden’s family business deals, border security, and how federal health agencies handled the COVID-19 pandemic.
His missive is a clear indication that House Republicans, upon taking the majority, will not only end the Jan. 6 probe, but will likely attempt to discredit its findings. Since it was launched last year, the GOP and former President Donald Trump have argued it’s a politically motivated exercise designed to harm the 45th president and distract from what they say are failings on behalf of the Biden administration.
Complaints lodged by the panel’s staffers in various media reporters were cited in McCarthy’s letter. That includes staffers’ allegations that their work investigating security failures would be downplayed in order to focus on Trump’s challenges to the 2020 election.