House Republicans, who vowed to investigate Democrats if they took back control of the House this year, now have a plan to investigate the select committee that investigated the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, CNN reported Wednesday. Those plans reportedly include conducting investigations into Capitol security at the time of the attack and possibly how Jan. 6 defendants have been treated by the legal system.
Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), whom the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack accused of leading a tour at the Capitol the day before the riot, will lead the effort, according to NBC News.
“I’m spending some time over there getting my hands wrapped around what we have. We’re going to be looking at what happened in the Capitol. What happened leading up to it? How did we have such a security failure?” Loudermilk told CNN. “The Jan. 6 committee, they didn’t take that approach… I think they looked more on the political side of it.”
The House Committee on House Administration already launched a portal where individuals “with knowledge of the events” can provide information about the insurrection and the Jan. 6 committee.
“My intention is to take us where the facts lead to get to the truth,” Loudermilk added in his interview with CNN.
The bipartisan House select committee investigated the Capitol riot and the events leading up to it for a year and a half — holding a series of televised hearings and releasing a formal report recommending that the Justice Department launch an investigation of former President Donald Trump’s involvement.
Contrary to Republicans’ claims, the committee did investigate security failures before the riot. A separate bipartisan probe in the Senate also detailed “how security, planning and response failures led to a violent and unprecedented breach of the United States Capitol” and offered recommendations to avoid similar breaches in the future.
The insurrection by Trump supporters, who marched to the Capitol after a rally in which he claimed the 2020 election had been “stolen” from him, sought to prevent a joint session of Congress from certifying the Electoral College count for Joe Biden. The riot led to at least five people’s deaths and the injury of at least 140 law enforcement officers. Charges have been filed against more than 1,000 of the rioters. The Jan. 6 committee was able to subpoena more than 100 individuals, interview more than 1,200 and accumulate copious amounts of documents and records in the process, NBC News reported.
Trump sued in an effort to prevent himself from providing documents and testimony, and the committee eventually ran out of time before it was dissolved in January of this year as the House’s new GOP majority was sworn in. The committee withdrew its subpoena for Trump shortly before dissolving, The New York Times reported.
News of the Republican investigation of the investigators comes in the same week that Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson shared new footage of the Capitol riot on his show on Monday, downplaying the violence of the attack. He had been provided the footage by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). McCarthy has defended his decision to give Carlson the footage, saying he wanted to offer the public “transparency” so people could make their own decisions about how the events of Jan. 6 played out.
Other prominent Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have criticized Fox News’ handling of the footage.
Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), a member of the defunct Jan. 6 committee, told CNN that they are prepared for the Republicans’ investigation.
“It’s something that we’ve thought through over the past two years. I knew that there could be political consequences. … We’ll see what happens ― and we’ll be prepared,” Aguilar said. “There is no limit to what [McCarthy] will do in order to fulfill those promises to the most extreme within his caucus.”