Recent reports revealed that the House Select Committee handpicked by former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021 is in the process of turning over all of the materials it gathered to the National Archives to be hidden away from the American public for decades.
The new House Republican majority has other ideas, though, and is set to impose a new rule to prevent that transfer and keep all of the gathered materials in the possession of the House for the coming term, the Conservative Brief reported.
If the materials gathered by the Jan. 6 committee are transferred to the National Archives, as was intended by Pelosi, it is likely that they would then be sealed and denied to the public for at least 30 to 50 years.
New House means new rules
The Los Angeles Times reported that when then-Speaker Pelosi established the special committee in 2021 to investigate the Capitol riot, she designated at that time the House Administration Committee to be the official custodian of all materials gathered in the probe.
Under Pelosi’s House Rules, the Administration Committee was then obligated to hand all of the gathered materials over to the House clerk, who would then transfer those records to the National Archives, where the rules further dictate that “sensitive records” from a “major investigation” must be sealed for at least 30 to 50 years.
However, within the House GOP’s proposed rules package for the new term is a rule that would require all materials and records from the investigatory committee to be maintained by the Administration Committee, and would further order the National Archives to swiftly return any records it had already received from the Jan. 6 committee.
Blatant effort to hide inconvenient evidence and facts
The likely purpose for that move is to bolster the plan for a Republican-led special committee to investigate other aspects of the Capitol riot not already addressed, such as the lax security measures in place on that day, and to ensure that Pelosi’s hand-selected special Jan. 6 committee didn’t try to cover up and hide any evidence and information that contradict its preferred narrative and preset conclusions.
Indeed, even the overtly biased Los Angeles Times acknowledged that the Democrat-led committee has only released “hundreds of interview or deposition transcripts and thousands of pages of evidence” out of the “millions of pages of information and evidence collected” from thousands of interviews and subpoenaed documents or testimony.
“The committee generally released only the information that was cited in its report,” the Times admitted. “Most of what it released appears tailored to back up the conclusions of its final report and emphasize what the committee thought was most relevant to its investigation.”
In other words, only a fraction of what was collected over 18 months of investigatory work, that just so happens to fit the committee’s preferred narratives and preset conclusions has been released, with everything else that might contradict or undercut those narratives and conclusions to be sealed away for decades from public view in the National Archives.
McCarthy already demanded committee to “preserve all records collected”
None of this should be a surprise, either, as then-House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) — who despite the objections of some in his party appears set to be the next House Speaker — sent a letter in November to the chairman of the Jan. 6 committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), to “remind you and your staff on the Committee to preserve all records collected and transcripts of testimony taken during your investigation.”
“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,” McCarthy wrote. “The official Congressional Records do not belong to you or any member, but to the American people, and they are owed all the information you gathered — not merely the information that comports with your political agenda.”
The Republican congressman then noted that the new GOP-led House would conduct its own investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, particularly with regard to the lack of adequate security, but also seemed to suggest that the conclusions reached in Thompson’s committee’s narrowly anti-Trump final report would be double-checked and verified.
“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,” McCarthy concluded with a reference to the federal statute that prohibits “false, fictitious, or fraudulent” statements and documents from government officials.