A Republican subcommittee chairman has disclosed that “all” deposition tapes from the disbanded January 6 Committee have vanished, following the former chairman’s assertion that he had no anticipation of retaining them. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), overseeing the Committee on House Administration Subcommittee on Oversight, conveyed on Thursday to Just the News TV, stating, “All of the videotapes of all depositions are gone.”
“We found out about this early in the investigation when I received a call from someone who was looking for some information off one of the videotapes, and we started searching, and we had none,” Loudermilk explained. “I wrote a letter to [Jan. 6 committee Chair] Bennie Thompson asking for them. And he confirmed that they did not preserve those [tapes]. He didn’t feel that they had to.”
Loudermilk added that “according to House rules, you have to preserve any data and information and documents that are used in an official proceeding, which they did. [The House Democrats] actually aired portions of these tapes on their televised hearings, which means they had to keep those. Yet he chose not to.”
Newsmax added: “The congressman explained that contrasting the footage with the current Jan. 6 evidence could help piece together what happened that day. Loudermilk points out that former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson has changed her testimony once before and that transcripts alone won’t do justice.”
“When you got someone like Cassidy, who has significantly changed her testimony, I want to see what her body language is when she gave her original testimony. I want to see what her voice inflection is. Was she very confident in what she was saying at that time but then later decided to change it?
“This is why it’s so important that we have those videotapes,” the congressman added, “and I believe that’s probably why we don’t have them … I believe they exist somewhere. We’ve just got to find where all these videos are.”
A legal case initiated by a former attorney for January 6 witness Hutchinson appears to challenge the assertions she publicly made during her testimony before the Democrat-controlled committee.
As per Just the News, the lawsuit also references text messages indicating “that she initially did not want to comply with the January 6 committee’s investigation and appeared to prepare to leak information about the committee’s proceedings to the media independently of her lawyer.”
These text messages date back to just before her initial closed-door interview with the special committee investigating the January 6 riot. They precede her alteration of the account of events following her separation from her initial lawyer, Stefan Passantino. She alleged that Passantino had pressured her to remain “loyal” to former President Donald Trump.
The texts have been presented as evidence in Passantino’s lawsuit against Andrew Weissmann, presently an MSNBC legal analyst, former prosecutor, and deputy to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The lawsuit alleges that Weissmann “publicly impugned [Passantino’s reputation], claiming that Mr. Passantino coached his client, Cassidy Hutchinson, to lie in congressional testimony.”
“This is an insidious lie,” the lawsuit claims. “Mr. Passantino never coached Ms. Hutchinson to lie, nor did he attempt to shape her testimony in any way.”
Text messages that are said to be from Hutchinson seem to suggest that the former aide to Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, initially admitted her hesitancy to cooperate with the committee, even though Passantino encouraged her to do so, as reported by Just the News.
“Like how on earth are they doing this to you,” one unidentified person asked the former Trump White House aide.
“I don’t know. But I don’t want to comply. Stefan wants me to comply,” Hutchinson replied.
The January 6 committee, personally chosen by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi and featuring Trump critic and then-Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming), presented Hutchinson as a cooperative participant.
In another set of messages, Hutchinson appears to express doubt about Passantino’s media approach regarding her deposition. She indicates the possibility of independently sharing information with the media, apart from her lawyer, to ensure that her “narrative” is presented first.
“So I want to. Stefan wants to wait till after my depo. I have to go in person next Tuesday. He doesn’t think the committee will leak it (“they promised they won’t”) but I don’t trust them,” Hutchinson said to an unknown individual. “And I want it to be my/our narrative that’s out there first,” she added.