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House J6 investigator says White House foot-dragging 'unacceptable,' warns of subpoenas ahead

Rep. Barry Loudermilk says he is prepared to issue subpoenas, alleging that the White House has been non-responsive to questions touching on possible collusion on the J6 hearings' testimony.

Published: January 25, 2024 11:00pm

The House subcommittee chairman leading the Jan. 6 investigation is declaring that the Biden White House's foot-dragging has been "unacceptable" and he is putting both presidential aides and the Georgia county prosecutor pursuing Donald Trump on notice that Congress is prepared to pursue evidence, up to and including subpoenas and contempt.

Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., on Thursday evening gave a sweeping update on his House Administration oversight subcommittee's efforts to obtain evidence, saying Democrats from the White House and Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., were not providing the cooperation needed to give Americans the facts and answers they are missing from the tragedy three years ago in the U.S. Capitol.

"Come on, let's be honest. What is it that you're trying to hide?" Loudermilk asked Democrats during an interview with the "Just the News, No Noise" television show Thursday night during which he also described in detail his efforts to secure documents, testimony and video from witnesses.

Loudermilk said the White House has yet to provide unredacted access to documents the House Democrats' Jan. 6 committee had sent to Biden's team. That committee folded in January 2023 when the GOP took over the House. 

The White House sent heavily redacted, unreadable versions of documents and thus far has not relented in turning over to his committee the memos that are official congressional documents, according to Loudermilk. He also said the White House only offered to let Loudermilk see the memos at the presidential mansion.

"That's unacceptable,” he said. “It's unacceptable. These are House documents. They belong to the House of Representatives, and I expect that we will get them. I believe we're just going to have to go ahead and subpoena and see where that goes.”

Loudermilk alleged that Thompson, the chairman of the House Democrats' now-defunct Jan. 6 committee, is being inconsistent in saying which documents Democrats left behind for his subcommittee and which ones he gave to the White House.

"He told another news outlet that they didn't provide any documents, which was interesting, because their select report said that they did provide documents," Loudermilk said. "Now he's saying, 'well, of course we supplied documents. There's nothing wrong with it.' Well, I didn't say there was anything wrong with it. I think it's highly suspicious. I just want to know, what did they get? That way I can see if there are any more documents that have been hidden or deleted, or sent away or disposed of in some way that my committee does not have access to."

Loudermilk said he has gotten even less cooperation from the Department of Homeland Security. "There were even more documents sent to the Department of Homeland Security that we're trying to get back," he said. "They won't even acknowledge the letters I sent."

The chairman also said he has heard "crickets" from the Democrats’ star witness, former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, and her current lawyers about the subcommittee's request to preserve evidence and cooperate with the investigation. Lawmakers are currently investigating unusual and substantive changes she made to her  testimony.

"But I believe our deadline for the preservation for them to turn over all of the information requested is tomorrow," Loudermilk stated. "So we're waiting and hoping that they don't follow the same path that the White House and DHS are and just stalling and ignoring our request."

Hutchinson is a former White House aide who testified before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, attack on the Capitol in 2021. Her testimony was central in the Democrat-led committee's final report.

In November, Just the News reported that Hutchison had made significant changes to her first testimony to the committee, filing errata sheets almost seven months after her first interview. The errata sheets changed Hutchinson’s account of the incident in the presidential vehicle—the Beast—as a later addition to her closed-door testimony. Loudermilk's team is also seeking to interview her former attorney, Stefan Passantino. Most legal experts say errata sheets are provided for the fixing of typographic errors or garbled words, not the wholesale changing of substantive facts previously alleged. 

"This is the first time, since the select committee, that we're able to get not only Cassidy Hutchinson, but Stefan Passantino's as well, and compare their stories. Because of her waiving her attorney-client privilege has opened the door and will help us to get to the truth" Loudermilk said.

Loudermilk’s update came the same day that former Trump aide Peter Navarro was sentenced to four months in prison for resisting a subpoena from the Democrat J6 investigation in the House. Loudermilk made clear he expects the Biden DOJ to treat recalcitrant witnesses in the current House GOP probes -- without mentioning Hunter Biden --  the same as prosecutors did for the Democrat-led committees.

"If the White House doesn't respond to our subpoena....this White House....will they be facing the same type of punishment?" he asked. "That'll be interesting to see as we go forward."

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