As the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack connected the United States Capitol continues its effort to beryllium allegations of insurrection against erstwhile President Donald Trump and his supporters, Capitol Police and House Democrats proceed to artifact each efforts to unit the merchandise of each surveillance video footage and emails, which could perchance exonerate those being accused of wrongdoing. Now, Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Texas) is citing a United States Code that could legally unit the merchandise of that evidence.
In a July, 29, 2022 letter to Capitol Police Board Chair William J. Walker, obtained by The Epoch Times, Gohmert—backed by the signatures of 23 further GOP lawmakers—demanded the merchandise of footage captured connected Capitol Hill information cameras connected Jan. 6, 2021, currently being withheld nether “sovereign immunity.”
“As you indispensable beryllium aware,” Gohmert wrote, “2 U.S.C. § 1979 states that ‘any Member … of either House of Congress’ tin ‘obtain accusation from the Capitol Police regarding the operations and activities of the Capitol Police that impact the Senate and House of Representatives.’ Subsection (c) makes wide that thing successful that instrumentality whitethorn beryllium construed to forestall us, arsenic Members of the House of Representatives from our quality to get those videos.”
Gohmert concluded that “Releasing this accusation is perfectly indispensable to due governance and information to support and perpetuate this self, governing nation.”
‘It’s About Revenge’
As The Epoch Times reported July 5, attorneys of Jan. 6 prisoners and defendants person provided grounds successful respective cases that bespeak the authorities is manufacturing grounds to apprehension and incarcerate radical who attended the protestation astatine the Capitol. In the meantime, Gohmert insists the authorities is besides hiding grounds that could beryllium utilized successful the defence of these people.
“That’s precisely what they’re doing,” Gohmert reiterated, noting however helium himself has been a unfortunate of the Jan. 6 Committee’s “Soviet-style propaganda.”
Reports disclose however Cassidy Hutchinson, erstwhile adjutant to the then-Whitehouse Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, told the Committee during her June deposition that Gohmert asked then-President Donald Trump for a pardon.
Gohmert demanded a merchandise of the full, unedited video and transcript of Hutchinson’s deposition, saying the mode the video was presented erased the information that helium was really seeking pardons for “very deserving subject members, erstwhile military, and 1 civilian servant.”
“I’ve been personally affected by the lies created by utilizing tape,” Gohmert told The Epoch Times. “They had Cassidy Hutchinson saying I requested a pardon without getting the afloat context. I person ne'er asked for a pardon for myself. I’ve ne'er done thing that needed a pardon. But I was requesting pardons for a fig of radical that person been screwed implicit by the justness system.”
While a spokesperson for the Capitol Police declined to remark connected the missive to The Washington Times, they did propulsion backmost connected allegations that Jan. 6 prisoners and defendants were not provided afloat entree to video that has been provided to the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO).
“Every January 6th suspect has entree to the aforesaid footage, which is everything the USAO is releasing,” the spokesperson told The Washington Times. “They bash not conscionable get what is applicable to them.”
The Road to 2 U.S.C. § 1979
In a May 19, 2022 letter (pdf) to Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), Select Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) wrote that the Board was seeking the Congressman’s “voluntary cooperation” successful advancing their investigation.
“Based connected our reappraisal of grounds successful the Select Committee’s possession,” Thompson said, “we judge you person accusation regarding a circuit you led done parts of the Capitol analyzable connected January 5, 2021.”
“The American radical merit a afloat and close accounting of what happened connected January 6th,” Thompson’s two-page missive concluded. “We purpose to marque informed legislative recommendations taking relationship of each applicable facts. Thank you successful beforehand for your information of this request.”
The missive was besides signed by the Committee Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).
In an contiguous same-day response, Committee connected House Administration Ranking Member Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Committee Member Loudermilk issued a joint press release, calling retired the Select Committee for its mendacious accusations.
“A constituent household with young children gathering with their Member of Congress successful the House Office Buildings is not a suspicious radical oregon ‘reconnaissance tour,'” the missive states. “The household ne'er entered the Capitol building.”
“The 1/6 governmental circus released the missive to the property earlier adjacent notifying Mr. Loudermilk, who has still not received a copy,” the missive accuses. “The Select Committee is erstwhile again pushing a verifiably mendacious communicative that Republicans conducted ‘reconnaissance tours’ connected January 5th. The facts talk for themselves; nary spot that the household went connected the 5th was breached connected the 6th, the household did not participate the Capitol grounds connected the 6th, and nary 1 successful that household has been investigated oregon charged successful transportation to January 6th.”
In a letter dated May 20, 2022, addressed to Capitol Police Board Chair William Walker and members Karen Gibson and J. Brett Blanton, Davis demanded the merchandise of “all January 5th Capitol Tapes.”
“If the Board does not merchandise the applicable footage successful a timely manner, I volition person nary prime but to workout my authorization nether 2 U.S.C. § 1979 to merchandise the footage myself.”
On June 15, 2022, Thompson sent different letter (pdf) to Loudermilk, again accusing him of personally escorting individuals done the Capitol Building for the purposes of conducting reconnaissance up of the rallies connected Jan. 6. Thompson besides reminded Loudermilk that the Committee had “invited” him to conscionable with them connected May 19, 2022, astir the “evidence,” which consisted of surveillance footage of Loudermilk starring a “tour of astir 10 individuals” done areas that are “not typically of involvement to tourists, including hallways, staircases and information checkpoints.”
“Surveillance footage shows a circuit of astir 10 individuals led by you to areas successful the Rayburn, Longworth, and Cannon House Office Buildings, arsenic good arsenic the entrances to tunnels starring to the U.S. Capitol,” Thompson said successful his letter. “The beneath representation shows you starring individuals connected the tour:”
Two further images successful the missive amusement “an idiosyncratic appearing to photograph a staircase successful the basement of the Longworth House Office Building” portion Loudermilk speaks “with others nearby,” and of radical from Loudermilk’s circuit “taking photographs of the passageway starring from the Rayburn House Office Building to the Capitol.”
Loudermilk did not comply with the interrogation request.
On June 16, 2022, the Committee released surveillance footage of Loudermilk’s “tour,” overlayed with graphics and preceded by selected footage from different videos that adhd to their communicative of Loudermilk’s expected guilt.
The Problems with Pick-and-Choose
For Mike Howell, elder advisor for Government Relations astatine The Heritage Foundation, the menace by Davis to merchandise the Jan. 5 footage of Loudermilk, if the Capitol Police bash not, raises a superior question.
Howell noted however Davis lone threatened to merchandise video footage that pertained to the Loudermilk incidental and insisted helium had the authorization to bash so.
“The question that’s been percolating is, ‘If you have the authorization to merchandise the portion from January fifth, wherefore are you not releasing all of the tapes?’ That would beryllium of large value due to the fact that determination are a batch of large transgression cases coming down and defence attorneys person had problems trying to get entree to these tapes themselves,” helium told The Epoch Times.
Gohmert agreed the Committee should not beryllium allowed “to conscionable pick-and-choose which sections they show.”
“Yes, they should beryllium capable to amusement the defence what they’re going to usage successful prosecution. But they are besides required to amusement the things that were much exonerating and exculpatory and that does not look to person happened astatine all,” helium said.
Howell sees astatine slightest 2 problems with this crippled of pick-and-choose.
First, the petition by Davis lone to merchandise a conception of video helium believes volition beryllium his constituent is nary antithetic than the Jan. 6 Committee “selectively releasing portions they deliberation amusement the champion broadside of their mentation of events.”
Second: “If the authorization exists, and Davis has the powerfulness done this statute to merchandise the footage from Jan. 5,” Howell surmised, “why haven’t the tapes already been released successful full?”
While Howell did remark that immoderate volition mention information issues arsenic the crushed for withholding astir of the footage captured by cameras astatine the Capitol, helium said he’s “got quality for them.”
“There are cameras each implicit the Capitol,” Howell countered. “So it’s not a substance of peculiar camera angles. I deliberation the existent crushed wherefore they’re not being released is due to the fact that it tin perchance amusement accusation and video footage that could beryllium adjuvant to radical being charged by the Department of Justice arsenic good arsenic damaging to the communicative that the January 6 Committee is trying to establish.”
According to a sworn affidavit from Capitol Police General Counsel Thomas DiBiase, surveillance camera footage from the U.S. Capitol Police’s extended strategy of cameras connected U.S. Capitol grounds states “disclosure of immoderate footage from these cameras is strictly constricted and taxable to a argumentation that regulates the merchandise of footage.”
“Per Department 1000.002, Retrieval of Archived Video (see attachment 1), the merchandise of immoderate footage from the Department’s CCV strategy indispensable beryllium approved by the Assistant Chief of Police for Operations.”
Howell said the tapes request to beryllium released to springiness radical a “full accounting” of what happened connected Jan. 2, 2021 and let attorneys to spell done the footage to find retired if determination is thing successful determination that whitethorn beryllium adjuvant to their clients.
“In the minds of galore Americans and Democrats connected Capitol Hill, this lawsuit has been made retired to beryllium akin to 9/11.” Howell said. “So, the question is, wherefore can’t the American people see what really happened that day. I deliberation there’s monolithic nationalist involvement successful this, and that outweighs immoderate different concerns, truthful the tapes beryllium successful the public.”
‘Why Are You Only Threatening’
While Howell finds Davis’s menace to merchandise the Loudermilk video a spot curious, helium isn’t surprised. At the time, erstwhile Davis made the threat, helium was struggling done a superior situation against chap Republican and Trump-endorsed campaigner Mary Miller aft redistricting pitted the 2 incumbent Republicans against each other.
“So he, successful an effort to enactment up immoderate bona fides connected the right, fundamentally threatened to merchandise these tapes,” Howell surmised. “Now he’s mislaid his superior and thing has happened. He hasn’t released the tapes and helium hasn’t said thing other since.”
Still, Howell believes the House Administration Committee—to which the Capitol Police reports and of which Davis inactive serves arsenic ranking member—does person the powerfulness and authorization to request the merchandise of the surveillance footage.
“They aren’t an autarkic constabulary agency,” Howell noted of the Capitol Police. “They study to Congress. So Congress tin archer Capitol Police what to do. I’m amazed much radical haven’t picked up connected it. You person the tapes and you tin merchandise them? Why are you lone threatening to merchandise them?”
Gohmert said “these tactics are things that were expected to beryllium near down 70 oregon much years ago. We had evolved to a justness strategy that was the fairest successful the past of the world. Now, this Justice Department and the bulk successful the House are taking america backmost six oregon 7 decades and they’ve gone beyond however atrocious it utilized to beryllium and they’re approaching a Soviet-style justness system. Stalin would beryllium arrogant of what they’re doing. It’s grossly unfair, grossly unjust. It doesn’t lucifer the justness strategy astatine all.”
Like Howell, Gohmert besides wants to cognize wherefore Davis lone demanded the merchandise of surveillance footage that mightiness beryllium the innocence of his colleague, conscionable arsenic the members of the Select Committee are selecting bits and pieces they deliberation volition beryllium the guilt of their governmental enemies.
The Next Step
Asked for the adjacent step, Gohmert said helium is going to springiness the Capitol Police a accidental to respond to his letter.
“It they don’t respond quickly, I deliberation we bash request to instrumentality ineligible action,” helium said. “If they respond and say, ‘you’re not entitled to it, we’ve ignored tons of laws already and this is conscionable 1 much instrumentality we’ll ignore,’ past we person got to—for the involvement of the country, for the involvement of our justness strategy and for the involvement of truth—stand up and clasp the Justice Department accountable for their violations of the law.”
Another happening bothering Gohmert is what helium is learning done talking to Jan. 6 prisoners “en wide astatine the D.C. Jail.”
“I person been profoundly acrophobic and a batch of america person been demanding that each of the video beryllium released for months,” Gohmert explained. “The Supreme Court made wide that the Department of Justice has to merchandise immoderate perchance exonerating oregon exculpatory grounds to the defense. They enactment truthful overmuch unit connected defendants and kept galore of them successful jailhouse truthful that they conscionable hold to plea blameworthy without ever seeing the exculpatory evidence, which is perfectly outrageous due to the fact that that lets the DOJ disconnected the hook.”
Gohmert said it was the infinitesimal helium learned that 2 U.S.C. § 1979 isn’t a House rule, but that it’s really a law, that helium knew helium had to instrumentality a stand, and portion helium knows that determination are inactive immoderate members of the Capitol Police who “want to spot close prevail and information and justness prevail” helium said helium “can lone anticipation they volition bash the close thing” and merchandise the surveillance footage.
“If they’re not consenting to bash it,” Gohmert vowed, “we’ve got to spell to tribunal arsenic rapidly arsenic imaginable and necessitate them to nutrient [the video]. This is simply a law. This is not a suggestion. It is perfectly imperative that Congress person entree to each of that. So, that’s wherefore we made the petition and past sent the missive retired truthful we could get it retired arsenic rapidly arsenic possible.”
“It volition beryllium absorbing to cognize who’s been holding up the video,” Gohmert speculated, “because immoderate of the radical who person refused to reply questions” whitethorn soon “have to respond aft their subpoenaed and cause into court.”
The Epoch Times reached retired to Davis, the Capitol Police, and the Office of the Inspector General.
Patricia Tolson, an award-winning nationalist investigative newsman with 20 years of experience, has worked for specified quality outlets arsenic Yahoo!, U.S. News, and The Tampa Free Press. With The Epoch Times, Patricia’s in-depth investigative sum of quality involvement stories, predetermination policies, education, schoolhouse boards, and parental rights has achieved planetary exposure. Send her your communicative ideas: [email protected]