House Probe into January 6 to Expand, Seek Interviews with Pentagon Officials and Democrat Staff

Rep. Barry Loudermilk
by Steven Richards


House Republicans are expanding their investigation into the January 6 Committee and the security failures that led to the Capitol breach, planning to add staff and pursue new lines of inquiry, the Chairman of the subcommittee leading the investigation told Just the News.

Rep. Barry Loudermilk, Chairman of the House Administration Subcommittee on Oversight, told the “Just the News, No Noise” TV show on Tuesday that he aims to publish a final report by this summer after seeking interviews with top Pentagon officials and any former January 6 committee staff willing to come forward.

So far, Loudermilk’s investigation has spearheaded efforts to release thousands of hours of security footage from January 6, found that the Democrat-led select committee deleted hundreds of encrypted files, and has taken testimony from National Guard whistleblowers criticizing Pentagon leadership for its slow response to the riot at the Capitol.

“I’ve got a request in right now for additional personnel and some additional funding, because of the number of whistleblowers that we have coming out and other issues… there are so many avenues that we have to go down in this investigation,” Loudermilk told the “Just the News, No Noise” TV show on Tuesday evening.

“Hopefully the the bulk of our investigation we need to wrap up sometime this summer. So you know, we can get a final report out and then transition to [accountability],” he added.

Earlier this month, four former National Guard officials-turned-whistleblowers testified before Loudermilk’s committee and sharply criticized Pentagon leadership over its failure to act decisively in the face of the riot at the Capitol on January 6.

The whistleblowers criticized the Department of Defense’s own Inspector General report which concluded the department’s actions to respond to the riot on January 6 “were appropriate, supported by requirements, consistent with the DoD’s roles and responsibilities…and compliant with laws, regulations, and other applicable guidance.”

However, one whistleblower—Command Sergeant Major Michael Brooks—said the department failed to interview him or other key witnesses with firsthand knowledge of what occurred that day. On January 6, Brooks reported directly to Major General General William J. Walker, the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard.

Multiple witnesses confirmed to the committee that several senior Pentagon officials in charge of orchestrating the response were hampered by concerns about the “optics” of deploying the guard to protect the Capitol, an apprehension that delayed the law enforcement response. Ultimately, the National Guard arrived more than three hours after the Capitol Police called for help.

Another witness—Colonel Earl Matthews, who was the Chief Legal Advisor for the D.C. Army National Guard on January 6—told the committee he believes senior Pentagon leadership lied to Congress and mislead investigators. Both generals referenced by Matthews have previously pushed back on his characterization.

Loudermilk said their testimony has opened new avenues of inquiry and he is will now pursue further information from the Department of Defense. Specially, Loudermilk wants to interview the generals the witnesses said let optics guide their decision-making.

“So we have contradictory information, including from the Department of Defense Inspector General, we need information from the DOD. They have been reclusive at best at our efforts to try to get their report, to get the the transcribed interviews that they did have certain people there at the Pentagon,” Loudermilk told Just the News.

“We also need to talk to some of the generals there that these witnesses testified that we’re concerned over the optics,” Loudermilk said. “And so we’re gonna, we’re gonna make another request, and we may have to use other means possible to require them to send us the information,” he added.

The Department of Defense declined to comment on Loudermilk’s expanded investigation when asked by Just the News.

Loudermilk also said his committee will explore interviewing former staff members who worked for the Democrat-led January 6 Select Committee or the Representatives who served on the committee themselves.

“And so as we are starting to get the unbiased…without political bias, without concerning ourselves with the optics of it…as we’re just trying to get to the truth, people are feeling confident that we’re going to get the truth out, and we’ll do everything we can to protect them,” Loudermilk said of potential future whistleblowers from the select committee.

“And so I think it’s going to be imperative that we do have more information and more discussions with especially staff members,” he added.

Loudermilk’s comments follow a report his committee released last month which concluded the January 6 Select Committee withheld evidence from the public that the politicization of Capitol security “directly contributed to the many structural and procedural failures witnessed that day.”

The report confirmed two years worth of reporting by Just the News on the Jan. 6 failures, including a report that one January 6 witness made significant changes to her testimony that were not revealed by the Jan. 6 committee and that White House officials had received instructions from Trump to offer the 10,000 National Guard troops to bolster security at the Capitol and assist Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, despite contrary claims from the committee.

Last year, Just the News reported former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson—a star witness heavily relied upon by the January 6 Select Committee—made significant revisions to her testimony before the committee.

These revisions, documented in an errata sheet uncovered by Loudermilk, showed Hutchinson inserted new stories into her testimony, like the infamous story about then-President Trump lunging at the driver of his presidential vehicle in anger. Hutchinson chalked up her changes to poor representation from her first lawyer, who she alleges pressured her to stay loyal to Trump, which he has adamantly denied. Hutchinson, for her part, has been targeted in a $10 million defamation suit brought by former Hunter Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski.

Loudermilk believes accountability has to come from the Pentagon, and lacking that, he says his committee is prepared to hold officials accountable according to the findings of its investigation.

“[The] accountability first should come from within the Pentagon and the Inspector General’s Office,” Loudermilk said.

“it is also Congress’s responsibility to give oversight to these things,” he added, explaining the House committee with usual jurisdiction over the Pentagon and its operations has giving full authority for his subcommittee to continue their investigation wherever it may lead.

“Other committees working with us because they see the work that we’re doing is without political bias is to get to the truth. And let the American people know because they deserve to know what really happened on January 6, bring transparency and hold people accountable,” he concluded.

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Steven Richards joined Just the News in August 2023 after previously working as a Research Analyst for the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) in Tallahassee, Florida.
Photo “Rep. Barry Loudermilk” by Congressman Barry Loudermilk. Background Photo “J6 Protesters” by TapTheForwardAssist. CC BY-SA 4.0.



Reprinted with permission from Just the News.

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