This week, Republicans launched a collusion probe after discovering that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is prosecuting former President Donald Trump, requested in 2021 "congressional" documents from the now defunct Jan. 6 Select Committee.
According to The Washington Times, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight, Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., requested Willis and Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., turn over documents related to any investigative coordination between the Georgia prosecutor's office and the Jan. 6 committee.
In August, Jordan announced an investigation into whether Willis coordinated with federal officials in indicting Trump.
But regarding Jordan's recent letter, which Willis reportedly has yet to respond to, the congressman writes, our "Committee became aware of cooperation between your office and the partisan January 6 Select Committee. We are in possession of a letter, dated December 17, 2021, and enclosed herein, from you to Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Chairman of the partisan January 6 Select Committee, requesting access to congressional 'records that may be relevant to our criminal investigation.'"
"Specifically, you asked Rep. Thompson for access to 'record [sic] includ[ing] but … not limited to recordings and transcripts of witness interviews and depositions, electronic and print records of communications, and records of travel.'"
The letter notes that Willis and her staff were eager to travel to Washington to "meet with investigators in person" and accept these records at "any time" between Jan. 31, 2022, and Feb. 25, 2022.
"Although," Jordan continues, "it is not clear what records, if any, you obtained from your coordination with the partisan January 6 Select Committee, this new information raises additional questions relevant to the Committee's oversight of your politically motivated prosecution of a former President of the United States and several former senior federal officials."
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., appointed all the members of the Jan. 6 panel, rebuking then-leader Kevin McCarthy's Republican choices and picking the now-former Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, both of whom were stridently anti-Trump.
In another letter written Tuesday by Loudermilk to Thompson, he indicated the discovery of the same Dec. 17, 2021, letter in the Jan. 6 committee archives. The letter follows shortly after Loudermilk announced on Thursday that "all" video depositions given to the Jan. 6 select committee have recently disappeared.
"According to public reporting," Loudermilk writes, "the Select Committee shared records with Ms. Willis. The Select Committee provided 'Fulton County prosecutors … key evidence about what former President Trump and his top advisers knew' with respect to Georgia's 2020 election results."
"However," Loudermilk continues, "there are no records of any additional communication between the Select Committee and Ms. Willis and her office. Therefore, we have no records showing what the Select Committee actually provided her office."
Loudermilk expressed concern because Thompson had previously stated that he did not keep any video recordings of depositions and transcripts.
"By failing to preserve these videos," the congressman adds, "you deny the American public the right to review the footage and make their own conclusions about witnesses' truthfulness. Clearly Ms. Willis agrees that video recordings of witness interviews and depositions are important records."
Thompson maintained to The Washington Times that the Jan. 6 committee followed the law on preserving documents.
"We did it consistent with what the law required," Thompson said. "And that was it. I'm not aware of destruction of any documents. I'm not aware of staff being instructed to destroy any documents."
However, according to Loudermilk's letter to Thompson, federal prosecutors working for Special Counsel Jack Smith revealed in court on August 11, 2023, that they were using unreleased transcripts from the select committee in their prosecution of Trump.
"It is unclear," Loudermilk stated, "if the Special Counsel's team received these transcripts from the Select Committee or directly from the Biden Administration. However, because you intentionally chose not to archive and preserve these transcripts, my Subcommittee, and the House of Representatives, does not even know the names of these witnesses or what they said in interviews with the Select Committee."
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Nick Koutsobinas ✉
Nick Koutsobinas, a Newsmax writer, has years of news reporting experience. A graduate from Missouri State University’s philosophy program, he focuses on exposing corruption and censorship.
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