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House chairman says Speaker Johnson wants to expand 'intensity' of Jan. 6 probe, add resources

Loudermilk is currently leading the probe into the House Democrat-led Jan. 6 committee.

Published: December 13, 2023 11:00pm

The House Republican overseeing the Jan. 6 investigation tells Just the News that Speaker Mike Johnson has approved expanding the scope and "intensity" of the probe and increasing the investigative resources committed to it.

"Speaker Johnson has been phenomenal in helping us with this," Rep. Barry Loudermilk, chairman of the House Administration Subcommittee on Oversight, said Wednesday night in an interview with the "Just the News, No Noise" television show. "In fact, he's given me a commission to not only press forward in the method we've been doing, but increase our intensity into this."

Loudermilk inherited the Jan. 6 probe when Republicans took over the House in January and has played a key role in releasing hundreds of hours of security footage, internal documents, and testimony that has markedly changed the public's understanding of the Capitol riot and the events leading up to it.

Just the News earlier Thursday chronicled nearly a dozen of the revelations uncovered by Loudermilk's staff, ranging from changes in testimony submitted by a key witness for Democrats to glaring security failures by Capitol Police and the Secret Service that preceded the riot.

Loudermilk said Wednesday he also is concerned that the Democrats' Jan. 6 committee failed to preserve documents, data and video depositions, including communications with the Biden administration, even though it was required to do so.

"We've uncovered a lot of evidence that is contrary to what they were telling us. There's not only flaws in their report, there are some flat out lies in the report," he said of the Democrats. "And the further we go down this path, the more that we're uncovering. And probably one of the biggest things I think that we saw happen in the last year that we discovered had happened were the number of documents that were not preserved and were not passed along to our committee as the House Rules mandated.

"We are going to find these documents. And the reason it's important is because I believe it's what's in those documents is why they don't want us to see it," he added.

Loudermilk said he recently briefed the new speaker on the progress his investigation made and the unresolved questions and got permission to expand. 

"When Speaker Mike Johnson came in, one of the first meetings that he had was with me and I kind of gave him an update of where we are," Loudermilk explained. "He was so impressed with what he found out we had been working on. He said, I will give you whatever resources/material that you need to expand this investigation, to dig deeper and get the truth out to the American people."

Johnson recently approved releasing more than 40,000 hours of all of the Capitol Hill security footage from the Jan. 6 riot, saying that "truth and transparency" are critical.

Following the release of the footage, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, called for an investigation of the Jan. 6 committee, alleging that the committee selectively ignored evidence.  

Former Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., were the only Republicans on the original Jan. 6 committee, as then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi wouldn't allow two of the members chosen by then-House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to participate. McCarthy then withdrew all of the GOP members he had chosen.

The Supreme Court recently announced that it will hear a case that could potentially undo Capitol riot charges against hundreds of people, including former President Donald Trump. 

The justices said they will review the cases of three Jan. 6 defendants – Joseph FischerEdward Jacob Lang and Garrett Miller – who were all charged with obstruction of an official proceeding, referring to how the riot disrupted the congressional certification of the 2020 election. 

On the same day, the judge overseeing former President Donald Trump's Jan. 6 case on Wednesday paused proceedings in the prosecution amid his appeal claiming presidential immunity.

Loudermilk said the court actions could lead to precedent-setting rulings impacting the future of the presidency.

"These are landmark decisions that are about to happen," he said. "We're treading into areas that we have never gone before in this country."

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