Jan. 6 Committee Tapes Have Disappeared, House Republican Says

‘All of the videotapes of all depositions are gone.’
Jan. 6 Committee Tapes Have Disappeared, House Republican Says
Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) speaks during a hearing in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on May 6, 2019. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Savannah Hulsey Pointer

The disappearance of videotapes of witness interviews conducted by the Democratic-led House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack has alarmed the chairman of the House panel that replaced it.

Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), who chairs the House Administration Oversight Subcommittee that’s currently investigating security lapses connected to the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol breach and potential ramifications for upcoming criminal trials, is questioning the disappearance of the video evidence.

“All of the videotapes of all depositions are gone,” Mr. Loudermilk told the “Just the News, No Noise” television show on Nov. 30.

“We found out about this early in the investigation when I received a call from someone who was looking for some information off one of the videotapes, and we started searching, and we had none,” he said. “I wrote a letter to Bennie Thompson asking for them. And he confirmed that they did not preserve those types. He didn’t feel that they had to.”

According to Mr. Loudermilk, the videotapes met the requirements for congressional evidence under House rules because some of the segments were shown at hearings, and the now-defunct J6 committee, led by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss), ought to have kept all of the recordings.

“According to House rules, you have to preserve any data and information and documents that are used in an official proceeding, which they did,“ Mr. Loudermilk said. ”They actually aired portions of these tapes on their televised hearings, which means they had to keep those. Yet he chose not to.”

The lawmaker explained why he believes that this is an important piece of evidence to maintain, citing that some witnesses, such as former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, have changed their testimony over time, and even transcripts might not be sufficient to obtain a full understanding of the testimony.

“I want to see what her body language is when she gave her original testimony,” Mr. Loudermilk said of the former White House staffer. “I want to see what her voice inflection is. Was she very confident in what she was saying at that time but then later decided to change it?

“This is why it’s so important that we have those videotapes, and I believe that’s probably why we don’t have them. ... I believe they exist somewhere. We’ve just got to find where all these videos are.”

Mr. Thompson’s office didn’t respond by press time to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.

The disclosure may also affect the criminal proceedings that are taking place in federal court in Washington and in state court in Georgia in which former President Donald Trump and his associates are accused of crimes connected to the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

A court recently denied President Trump’s legal team’s request for specific material from the Jan. 6 committee. District of Columbia District Judge Tanya Chutkan turned down the former president, saying his requests were essentially a fishing expedition.

In her seven-page ruling, she reprimanded President Trump for his demands, claiming that they were too broad and too unclear. It further claimed that he was abusing his authority by trying to get information that was available through other channels in violation of Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 17.

“Defendant has not met his burdens with respect to his proposed Rule 17(c) subpoenas,” Judge Chutkan wrote. “He has not sufficiently justified his requests for either the ‘Missing Materials’ themselves or the other five categories of documents related to them.”
The judge went on to cite United States v. Cuthbertson, saying that the “broad scope of the records that defendant seeks, and his vague description of their potential relevance, resemble less ‘a good faith effort to obtain identified evidence’ than they do ‘a general fishing expedition that attempts to use the [Rule 17(c) subpoena] as a discovery device.’”
Sam Dorman contributed to this report.