House Jan. 6 committee failed to preserve records, lacks data, Barry Loudermilk says

"Nothing was indexed. There was no table of contents index," Loudermilk said.

Published: August 10, 2023 11:39am

The Democratic-led House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot failed to fully preserve documents, data and video depositions, including communications with the Biden administration, according to Rep. Barry Loudermilk, the Georgia Republican who was targeted by the committee but is now leading the GOP's probe of the panel.

Loudermilk, who chairs the House Administration Oversight Subcommittee, said his staff had difficulty gathering the necessary information to investigate the Jan. 6 probe.

"Nothing was indexed. There was no table of contents index. Usually when you conduct this level of investigation, you use a database system and everything is digitized, indexed. We got nothing like that. We just got raw data," he said, Fox News reported Tuesday. "So it took us a long time going through it and one thing I started realizing is we don't have anything much at all from the Blue Team."

The "Blue Team" describes a group within the Jan. 6 committee that investigated the security problems at the Capitol, according to Loudermilk. The congressman said sources told him that the committee "shut down" the Blue Team to shift the blame on former President Donald Trump.

"We've got lots of depositions, we've got lots of subpoenas, we've got video and other documents provided through subpoenas by individuals. But we're not seeing anything from the Blue Team as far as reports on the investigation they did looking into the actual breach itself," he also said. "What we also realized we didn't have was the videos of all the depositions."

The Jan. 6 committee, led by Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., was required under law to preserve and turn over all data related to its probe at the end of the congressional term, which Loudermilk made note of in a letter to Thompson.

The former Jan. 6 committee chair responded to Laudermilk by saying his letter contained "factual errors" and that the committee had turned over "4 terabytes" of data.

Loudermilk said his committee only received 2.5 terabytes of data.

Additionally, Loudermilk said he discovered a letter from Thompson to White House special counsel Richard Sauber that his committee did not receive. The letter detailed an "agreement" between the Jan. 6 committee and the executive branch to interview people whose names later were redacted.

"No version of the letter to Mr. Sauber — either redacted or unredacted — or the letter to the DHS General Counsel was archived by the Select Committee or provided to this Committee," Loudermilk also told Thompson. 

"Why didn't they preserve this?" Loudermilk rhetorically asked Fox. "Did they not want us to know that there were documents that they had sent back to the executive branch?"

Current information shows that Jan. 6 was the result of a "huge intelligence failure," Loudermilk also said.

The Jan. 6 committee had questioned Loudermilk about a tour they say he led of the Capitol tour one day before the Jan. 6 riot. However, a police report said he was never on the tour.

Follow Madeleine Hubbard on Twitter or Instagram.

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