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Americans deserve to know the truth about Jan. 6

By Rep. Barry Loudermilk (GA-11) 
Op-ed run exclusively in The Washington Times 

The American people deserve the entire truth about what caused the violent breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Three years have passed, yet there are still numerous questions about what happened and why.

For nearly two years, the January 6th Select Committee, organized by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, promoted hearsay testimony and cherry-picked information that fit its predetermined narrative — a narrative set before the Select Committee was even established. The Select Committee spent two years attempting to legislatively prosecute former President Donald Trump.

It was no surprise that the Select Committee’s final report focused primarily on Mr. Trump and his supporters, not the security failures and reforms needed to ensure that the U.S. Capitol is safer today than it was in 2021.

As chairman of the House Administration Committee’s Oversight Subcommittee, I am committed to doing the work the former Select Committee did not — exhaustively investigating the security failures before and on Jan. 6. My subcommittee is unique in that it is both the successor committee to the January 6th Select Committee and the subcommittee with jurisdiction over Capitol security and legislative branch operations. For the past year, we have been working diligently on uncovering the truth of Jan. 6. Last week, my subcommittee released a report of our preliminary findings.   

Jan. 6 was not caused by one person or by one decision. It was a tragic combination of many factors that occurred at the same time. 

There were preventable leadership, intelligence and security failures across numerous law enforcement agencies. There was also a lack of planning and preparedness at the Capitol. Avoidable delays in requesting further resources and in the deployment of the National Guard resulted in the Capitol building being overrun and the tragic loss of life.

The Select Committee failed to answer these important questions. Chairs Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney failed in their roles to shed light on the truth of Jan. 6. Rather than addressing the leadership and security failures in its investigation and final report, the Select Committee focused on politicized hearings and gathering select facts and testimonies, and reported a narrative supported by cherry-picked facts in order to convince America of their preconceived partisan narrative — that Mr. Trump was primarily responsible for the events of January 6.

In addition, the Select Committee did not operate in good faith, as it failed to archive numerous records, including transcripts of witness testimony. They deleted some files days before House Republicans took the majority and deleted the video recordings from hundreds of transcribed witness interviews.

It is unfortunate the Select Committee succumbed to its political inclinations and chased false narratives instead of providing the important work of a genuine investigation. There are still many unanswered questions from that day. In my committee’s investigation, it is my objective to uncover the facts about Jan. 6 without political bias or spin.

As we progress through the remainder of our investigation, we will continue to diligently seek the truth and work to provide complete transparency for the American people. And when we are done exposing the truth, I trust that Americans are best suited to reach their own conclusions about Jan. 6.

Rep. Barry Loudermilk is a constitutional conservative who represents northwest Georgia’s 11th Congressional District. A Georgia native and Air Force veteran, he serves as chairman of the House Administration Committee’s Oversight Subcommittee and is a member of the House Financial Services Committee.