A House subcommittee is analyzing the “actions” of the former panel investigating the Capitol riot and its reported scrubbing of files before Republicans took the majority in the lower chamber of Congress.
“The former House Select Committee on Jan. 6 deleted more than 100 encrypted files from its probe just days before Republicans took over the majority in the House of Representatives,” Fox News Digital reported Monday.
Chairman Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga. is leading the House Administration Committee’s Oversight Subcommittee and its probe of the January 6 events, the security failures, and the activities of the now-defunct select committee.
House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., has reportedly green-lighted additional resources to help in the investigation, leading to a “new phase” in the inquiry, according to Loudermilk.
— Rep. Barry Loudermilk (@RepLoudermilk) January 15, 2024
“Sources familiar with Loudermilk’s investigation told Fox News Digital that, per House rules, the former select committee, which was chaired by Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., was required to turn over all documents from its investigation to the new, GOP-led panel, after Republicans secured the majority of the House of Representatives following the 2022 midterm elections,” Fox News reported.
However, the new committee only received roughly two terabytes of data rather than the four terabytes that Thompson had promised Loudermilk would be provided.
According to Fox News:
Fox News Digital has learned that Loudermilk’s committee hired a digital forensics team to scrape hard drives to determine what information they were not given.
The forensics team, according to sources familiar with their search, determined that 117 files were both deleted and encrypted. Sources said those files were deleted on Jan. 1, 2023 – just days before Thompson’s team was required to transfer the data to the new committee.
Fox News Digital has learned the forensics team has recovered all 117 deleted and encrypted files. Now, Loudermilk is demanding answers and passwords to access the data.
“As you acknowledged in your July 7, 2023 letter, the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol (Select Committee) did not archive all Committee records as required by House Rules,” Loudermilk wrote in a letter to Thompson obtained by Fox News Digital.
“You wrote that you sent specific transcribed interviews and depositions to the White House and Department of Homeland Security but did not archive them with the Clerk of the House,” the lawmaker added.
He also reminded that Thompson “claimed that you turned over 4-terabytes of digital files, but the hard drives archived by the Select Committee with the Clerk of the House contain less than 3- terabytes of data.”
Following forensic analysis, “numerous digital records from hard drives archived by the Select Committee,” according to the Georgia Republican.
“One recovered file disclosed the identity of an individual whose testimony was not archived by the Select Committee,” Loudermilk wrote in his letter. “Further, we found that most of the recovered files are password-protected, preventing us from determining what they contain.”
He also requested that Thompson supply “a list of passwords for all password-protected files created by the Select Committee” so that his committee can “access these files and ensure they are properly archived.”
Additional letters to the general counsels of the White House and Department of Homeland Security were also sent by the congressman who asked for “unedited and unredacted transcripts” of testimony given to the former select committee which were not turned over by the Democrat-led committee, according to Fox News Digital.
The White House and DHS have until Jan. 24 to comply with Loudermilk’s request.
“It’s obvious that Pelosi’s Select Committee went to great lengths to prevent Americans from seeing certain documents produced in their investigation. It also appears that Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney intended to obstruct our Subcommittee by failing to preserve critical information and videos as required by House rules,” he told Fox News Digital.
“The American people deserve to know the full truth, and Speaker Johnson has empowered me to use all tools necessary to recover these documents to get the truth, and I will,” Loudermilk added.