Democrats are again stonewalling Republican attempts to conduct legitimate oversight of the Capitol security failures on Jan. 6, 2021 by refusing to compel monthly reports from the Jan. 6 Committee, as required by House rules.
On Jan. 19, House Republicans investigating the Jan. 6 security breach demanded House Administration Chair Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., enforce rules that mandate the regular release of reports on committee progress.
“Monthly reports for all Committees are supposed to be posted on the Committee on House Administration’s website to ensure transparency and provide accountability for Committee investigation and use of official resources,” wrote Reps. Jim Banks, R-Ind., and Rodney Davis, R-Ill., in the letter obtained by The Federalist.
The Committee’s Congressional Handbook requires such reports to include:
a. Summary of the progress of the specific investigations and studies for which funds were approved.
b. Statement of expenses for the month and year to date. Committees must reconcile their figures with the Monthly Financial Statement prior to submitting the monthly reports.
c. Report of travel performed using Committee funds.
d. List of Committee employees, job titles and gross monthly salaries (a copy of the monthly Payroll Certification Form is acceptable).
e. Certification by the Chair of the reporting Committee that the report is available to Members of the Committee for examination.
f. A list of all Committee detailees with each detailee’s effective start and end date of detail at the Committee.
“The J6 Committee has yet to submit a monthly report, despite a requirement to do so,” Banks and Davis wrote. “Reviewing these monthly reports and tracking committee spending is an essential part of transparency and it is concerning that such information has been kept from the American people.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Select Committee on Jan. 6, however, has operated entirely in secret just as the Democrats’ ad hoc impeachment inquiry on the pretext of Ukraine did in 2019, with J6 Committee members deposing private citizens whose appearance is compelled under questionable authority. Even in 2019, however, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who also now serves on the Jan. Committee, complied with the Committee’s Congressional Handbook and released monthly reports.
Democrats ignored their Republican colleagues’ deadline of Friday last week to respond.
“The January 6th Committee has flouted every congressional rule that interferes with their attack on Americans’ constitutional rights,” Banks told The Federalist. His appointment as ranking member of the committee was barred by Pelosi. “This is an entirely partisan investigation operating in secret. I hope Americans are paying attention to what Democrats do with total power. They harass and intimidate without accountability of transparency.”
Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan was also kicked from Pelosi’s probe last summer, leading House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to pull Republicans from the committee that now operates absent of any GOP appointments. Despite the Select Committee’s establishing resolution calling for 13 members to be appointed, only nine are, all of Pelosi’s choosing. After taking the self-admittedly “unprecedented” step of blocking Republican-appointed members from the committee, Pelosi seated the leading pair of NeverTrump crusaders in the lower chamber on the panel, Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.
“The American people deserve a transparent accounting of the J6 Committee’s operations, budget, and staff structure, as well as its interview and deposition procedures,” Banks and Davis wrote as the partisan probe violates norms and targets political opponents. Earlier this month, the committee sent a subpoena to a political operative working to oust Cheney in Wyoming with no connection to any of the DC events on Jan. 6.
“In the absence of legitimate minority representation in this congressional investigation, brutally partisan politicians with axes to grind will continue to cut corners, fudge truth, treat people unfairly, abuse their power, violate privacy rights, and ultimately make consequential mistakes,” Banks and Davis added.
Over the prior two months, the committee has made significant factual errors while it tries to convince the public to trust its assertion that Ray Epps, a supposed President Trump supporter seen encouraging others to storm the Capitol on the eve of the riot, was not a federal agent. The committee made the claim following closed-door testimony from Epps, who sat down for a deposition that probe Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said would be released after “a review process.”
The Jan. 6 Select Committee has also developed a record of fabricating documents and timelines. In December, the probe doctored text messages between Rep. Jordan and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, fabricated another text to Meadows, and made up a timeline to claim former President Trump had waited “187 minutes” to do anything about the chaos unfolding at the Capitol when a review of the day’s events revealed it was 25.