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Republicans move to retain Jan. 6 committee documents

(J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

Republicans are trying to pass a new House rule that would prevent materials compiled by the committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 riots from being sent immediately to the National Archives.

The House committee investigating the riot has released a series of transcripts and underlying information supporting its report, but most of the raw information collected by the panel will be sent to the National Archives. You can be locked there for up to 50 days. Year.

However, the proposed rules package voted on Tuesday’s order that all records produced by the panel must be sent to the House Committee on Management by Jan. 17, according to materials already received by the National Archives. is ordered to be returned.

The move could indicate that House Republicans are seeking to refute a panel investigation that captivated public opinion for months. , ended with a groundbreaking report that concluded that Trump deliberately misled and provoked rebels as part of his attempt to stay in power after losing the 2020 election.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) sent a letter to Rep. Benny Thompson (D-Miss), a candidate for Speaker of the House and Chairman of the January 6 Committee, in November. , preservation of “all records collected and copies of testimony obtained during the investigation.”

“The official congressional records do not belong to you or any other member, but to the American people, and they are responsible for all information you collect – not just information that fits your political agenda.” No,” the letter said.

House Republican leaders had previously indicated plans to investigate why the Capitol was so easily defeated and whether the governing body that oversees the Capitol Police should be changed.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) has already named the House Trustees Committee as custodian of the records. The Clerk of the House will send them to the National Archives. The rule also prevents the National Archives from publishing committee records for at least 30 years. Confidential records, such as large-scale investigations, can be kept for up to 50 years before being published.

Each legislature sets its own rules, but it is unusual to have the goal of retaining a single committee’s records rather than submitting them to the National Archives. The House retains ownership of committee records even when they are transmitted to the National Archives, and may be recalled temporarily for official committee use at any time.

According to a summary released by Republicans at the Committee on Rules, the proposed changes would require “an expedited transfer of records from the Select Committee to the House Committee on Jan. 6.” New Congress 2024 It is not clear whether the records will be sent to the National Archives before it ends.

Republican spokespersons for the House Rules Committee and the House Control Committee did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday.

Thompson said in a statement Monday that the National Archives has already begun receiving records from the commission.

The commission, which is set to officially dissolve at 11:59 a.m. ET Tuesday, has released hundreds of transcripts of interviews or depositions and thousands of pages of evidence cited in the report. Online repository held by Government PressMuch of that information was released over the weekend and includes dozens of previously unpublished transcripts, expert statements and nearly 400 documents cited in the report. Videos shown at nine of his 2022 Commission hearings are included in the repository, with at least 75 videos already available.

The Commission generally only released information cited in its reports. Most of the content released appears to have been tailored to support the final report’s conclusions and to highlight what the Commission considered most relevant to its investigation. The remaining material obtained by the Panel was expected to enter the National Archives, often obtained by subpoena agencies and individuals.

Among the information that was not released and was due to be sent to the National Archives were e-mails and text messages provided to the Commission by witnesses or federal agencies that were not referenced in the final report. Raw footage from depositions, police camcorders, or documentary filmmakers that were not shown at the hearings were also expected to be sent to the National Archives.

For example, of the hundreds of text messages and emails that former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows handed over while responding to the committee, only the emails or text messages mentioned in the report have been officially released. Rather than release every record of what the Secret Service and the Pentagon knew about the January 6th violence threat and why it took so long for the National Guard to arrive. Only publish documents that the report specifically mentions. Come out.

Similarly, internal White House emails and correspondence, call transcripts, and other records received by the committee from the National Archives after a lengthy legal battle with former President Trump, unless directly cited in the report, It was expected to be sent back to the archives.

The commission’s 18-month investigation produced the single greatest piece of evidence relating to the attack and the political forces that caused it. Investigators conducted approximately 1,200 interviews, only a few of which were transcribed and made available through the repository.

The Commission has collected millions of pages of information and evidence, much of it obtained through subpoenas and lengthy legal battles, in which the Supreme Court ruled in its favor over White House records. or mandated by federal agencies.

The scope of information that the Commission believes has been collected extends far beyond what appears in the repository and does not exist elsewhere. Republicans blocked the creation of an independent, nonpartisan commission to investigate the attack in 2021, so no other organization is investigating the full extent of what caused the attack and how it happened.

The full interviews and underlying evidence released by the commission in the past few weeks provide a wealth of information and explosive details not included in the final report, trying to keep Trump in office. It helps explain more about the people involved in the effort.Losing the 2020 presidential election. This includes unofficial adviser Steve Bannon texting spokeswoman Alexandra Pleat on Jan. 8 about having a million people surround the Capitol after Biden takes office. . Trump lawyers strategizing former Vice President Mike Pence’s lawsuit. On Jan. 2, shortly after he asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Ravensperger to “find” the 11,000 votes needed for Trump to win the state, Trump hired attorney Rudolph Giuliani, chief of staff. Correspondence with Officer Mark Meadows, Bannon.

Experts were already concerned that the limited release of information would undermine the commission’s accountability and its goals of ensuring that the historical record is as accurate as possible. Those keeping a close eye on the hearings, including the watchdog groups in the .

The Justice Department conducts its own investigations, but the evidence is unlikely to be made public in full. The commission provided everything the Justice Department requested in a coordinated request for information in December.

This story was originally published in the Los Angeles Times.

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