Loudermilk wrote to Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) that more than a terabyte of information appeared missing from the hard drives archived with the clerk of the House and that “numerous digital records” he uncovered were password protected, according to a letter obtained by the Washington Examiner.
Loudermilk chairs the House Administration Committee’s oversight subcommittee and has been investigating the work of the Democratic-led Jan. 6 committee since Republicans took over the House majority last year. The Jan. 6 panel used a deep well of resources; it spent millions of dollars, held prime-time public hearings, and interviewed hundreds of witnesses before it dissolved at the end of 2022. Prior to its ending, the committee released an 845-page final report and referred former President Donald Trump to the Department of Justice for allegedly spurring the Jan. 6 riot.
Thompson told Loudermilk in a letter last year that the committee had accumulated 4 TBs of data, but less than 3 TBs were available on the House clerk’s hard drives, Loudermilk said. He noted this was a violation of House rules.
Additionally, a source directly familiar with the subcommittee’s investigation said the subcommittee had hired a digital forensic team to scrape the Jan. 6 committee’s hard drives. The team recently uncovered 117 files that had been deleted on Jan. 1, 2023, the source said.
The source noted that the contents of the deleted files are unknown at this stage because they were all encrypted.
Loudermilk in his letter demanded Thompson provide him with all applicable passwords to access the encrypted data.
“One recovered file disclosed the identity of an individual whose testimony was not archived by the Select Committee,” Loudermilk also said.
Thompson’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Loudermilk is expected to ramp up his focus on the Jan. 6 committee, which had a uniquely partisan composition of seven Democrats and two Republicans.
Loudermilk accused the committee of cherry-picking its evidence in a recent interview with Fox News.
The committee members “excluded evidence that did not support their narrative, which was that Trump and the Republicans are the ones who planned and carried out and assisted in the attacks on the Capitol,” Loudermilk said.
Loudermilk himself became a target of the committee after it released video footage of him leading a group of tourists through the Capitol the day before the riot. Thompson at the time raised concerns about the activity, generating headlines claiming that the Georgia Republican was conducting reconnaissance ahead of the riot.
Loudermilk has adamantly denied the accusation, and the U.S. Capitol Police chief later debunked the claim, saying there was “no evidence” of wrongdoing and that the tour activity was not suspicious.