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Republicans launch an investigation into the Jan. 6 committee that examined the riot

Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., who will lead the investigation, was accused by the House’s former Jan. 6 panel of giving tours of the Capitol complex in the days leading up to the riot.
Rioters storm the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Rioters storm the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.Ricky Carioti / The Washington Post via Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — A Republican-controlled House committee launched an inquiry Wednesday into the Democratic-controlled Jan. 6 committee, which a staff member said will review whether pertinent information about the riot was omitted from the high-profile examination of the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Many House Republicans were vocal critics since the creation of the Jan. 6 committee, and the inquiry seems to make good on lawmaker campaign trail vows to investigate the investigators.

The House Administration’s subcommittee on oversight will be combing through the massive amount of records collected by the Jan. 6 committee, which was dissolved in January, said the staffer, with the goal of analyzing how the panel conducted the investigation.

The House Administration Committee has launched a portal to collect tips from the public. News about the subcommittee’s plans was first reported by CNN.

The subcommittee — made up of four Republicans and two Democrats — will be looking into roughly two million documents and records, the source said, which the House Administration Committee obtained from the House Rules Committee after the Jan. 6 panel was dissolved.

The subcommittee will be led by Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., a Trump ally who had his own run-in with the Jan. 6 committee. The panel accused Loudermilk of giving tours of the Capitol in the days leading up to the riot.

Video footage showed Loudermilk guiding a tour of House office buildings during a time when the complex was closed off to visitors because of pandemic restrictions. Loudermilk has strenuously denied that the group he was leading was using the tour to inspect the facility ahead of the riot.

The subcommittee is expected to focus on the security failures around Jan. 6 and will work to get U.S. Capitol Police officers more training and resources, and on other possible reforms, the staffer said.

The other members on the subcommittee are GOP Reps. Morgan Griffith of Virginia, Greg Murphy of North Carolina and Anthony D'Esposito of New York, as well as Democratic Reps. Norma Torres of California and Derek Kilmer of Washington.

Some Republicans have tried to downplay the severity of the Capitol riot. Fox News host Tucker Carlson aired footage this week, provided exclusively to him by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and falsely depicted the insurrection as a peaceful gathering.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., who chaired the Jan. 6 committee in the previous Congress, defended the panel's work on Wednesday.

“As I have said many times, the work of the January 6 Committee was completely bipartisan, comprehensive, and professional — it stands on its own. January 6 was one of the darkest days in our democracy and necessitated a full and complete investigation — we did not leave anything on the table,” Thompson said in a statement.

“Extreme MAGA Republican efforts — led by Kevin McCarthy — to politicize and whitewash the events of that day will not pass muster with the American people. He had his chance to work with us. He declined and showed he was completely uninterested in a real investigation,” Thompson added.

The Jan. 6 committee shared the findings of its lengthy probe of the riot in a final report in December and in nearly a dozen public hearings last year. Throughout the course of its 18-month investigation, the committee issued more than 100 subpoenas, conducted more than 1,200 witness interviews and collected hundreds of thousands of text messages, emails and other documents.

The panel presented extensive evidence that laid out former President Donald Trump's pressure campaign to overturn the 2020 presidential election.