Days before the dominant party in the House of Representatives transitioned from the Democrats to the Republicans, over 100 encrypted files were reportedly purged from the erstwhile House Select Committee on Jan. 6’s inquiry, according to information obtained by Fox News Digital.
Currently, a new probe into the security shortfalls on Jan. 6, 2021, and the undertakings of the preceding select committee is being headed by the House Administration Committee’s Oversight Subcommittee, under the chairmanship of Barry Loudermilk, a Republican from Georgia.
In an interaction with Fox News Digital, Chairman Loudermilk reported that his inquiry had entered a fresh stage and has received additional backing from fellow Republican and House Speaker Mike Johnson, from Louisiana. This bolstering involves an enhanced allocation of assets to Loudermilk’s committee as the practice of examining the Jan. 6 incidents persists.
Insiders familiar with the investigative efforts of Chairman Loudermilk’s team revealed an important procedural aspect. The preceding select committee, which was under the leadership of Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson from Mississippi, was obligated under the House rules to transfer all materials from their investigation to the newly formed Republican-led panel. This transition in majorities within the House of Representatives ensued post the 2022 midterm elections.
Sources from within the inquiry team disclosed to Fox News Digital that Congressman Thompson had assured Chairman Loudermilk that an archived data amounting to nearly four terabytes would be transferred to the new committee. However, the succeeding committee claims to have received a significantly lower amount, pegged at roughly two terabytes of data.
Information indicates that the current committee, led by Loudermilk, employed a squad of digital forensics experts to examine hard drives in an attempt to reveal the true magnitude of potential withheld or excluded information. As per knowledgeable individuals close to the investigation, this digital sleuthing endeavor came to an astonishing revelation that a total of 117 files, which were both deleted and encrypted, were absent.
This intriguing discovery identified that those 117 missing files were removed on Jan. 1, 2023, mere days before the transition to Thompson’s team was due, characterizing the requirement to shift pertinent data to the successor committee. Interestingly, Fox News Digital has established that the team of digital forensic investigators managed to recover all of these missing 117 files.
Chairman Loudermilk, on unearthing these discrepancies, is now seeking clarity and more notably, the passwords required to access the rescued data. A document exclusively acquired by Fox News Digital, a letter penned by Loudermilk to Thompson, outlines a request for access to these restored digital files that a specialized forensic team was able to recover.
According to this document, Chairman Loudermilk reminds Thompson of his previous written statement dated July 7, 2023, in which he admitted that the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol did not preserve all requisite Committee records as stipulated by the House Rules.
Elaborating on this theme, Loudermilk’s letter details that Thompson acknowledged sending specific transcriptions of interviews and depositions to the White House and Department of Homeland Security. However, he made no attempts to store these records with the Clerk of the House, an act inherently required under standard archiving procedures.
Moreover, Loudermilk’s document mentions Thompson’s declaration of transferring a mountain of digital files of four terabytes. This assertion, however, conflicts with the less than three terabytes of data found on hard drives stored by the previous Select Committee with the Clerk of the House.
Loudermilk’s letter further expounds that through forensic evaluation of the available data and archived hard drives, he succeeded in recovering numerous digital records previously residing on the hard drives preserved by the Select Committee. This meticulous investigation showcased a more comprehensive picture of the data deemed relevant in context.
In the request for further transparency in this matter, Loudermilk beseeches Thompson to supply ‘a list of passwords for all password-protected files created by the Select Committee.’ This request is driven by the intention for his committee to authenticate these files and ascertain their proper archival status.
Overall, these events paint a picture of a complex investigative scenario. The pursuit for truth and full disclosure surrounding the events and related security failings of January 6th, 2021, unfolds. As they delve deeper into the cache of information, Loudermilk’s committee continues to unearth unexpected revelations.
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