With Pelosi’s gavel changing hands after the midterm elections has been a dramatic shift in House oversight priorities.
A prime example of this shift is the lens through which the events of January 6th, 2021 are viewed by people in authority.
For two years, a committee united in its apriori belief that failing to bring a guilty verdict against Donald Trump in impeachment proceedings was a travesty of justice used the power of their committee to look for any possible way to convert their investigative powers into the launch of a criminal investigation of President Trump.
On more than one occasion they shared misinformation, misleading out-of-context evidence, unfounded allegations, and outright lies with the purpose of damaging Trump and his supporters in the context of January 6th.
One of the more egregious examples of their malfeasance involved allegations against Rep. Loudermilk. They shared reports that led to sympathic media allies running stories like the one by Rolling Stone whose opening paragraphs read as follows:
What was the problem with that MAY 19, 2022 Rolling Stone story? Or this PBS story that came out on June 15th?
A lot, actually.
According to a CNN story the day BEFORE that PBS story was released:
“There is no evidence that Representative Loudermilk entered the U.S. Capitol with this group on January 5, 2021,” Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger wrote in a letter on Monday to Rep. Rodney Davis, the top Republican on the House Administration Committee. “We train our officers on being alert for people conducting surveillance or reconnaissance, and we do not consider any of the activities we observed as suspicious.”
The Capitol Police review was done at the urging of Davis. The police review of security video from January 5, 2021, comes after the House select committee raised concerns about Loudermilk hosting visitors in his office that day and requested that he voluntarily answer questions.
Manger said the video shows Loudermilk with “a group of approximately 12 people which later grew to 15 people” walking through the Capitol office buildings on January 5. It also states that the group of visitors did not “appear in any tunnels that would lead them to the US Capitol.” — CNN
We note that the CNN article specifically mentions the J6 Committee’s unwillingness to comment.
Lets this be dismissed as partisan cherry-picking, the New York Times also had a June 13th story that similarly declares the innocence of Loudermilk’s tour.
That was history. What about today?
The Republicans are, as promised, looking into the actions of that lopsided group that seemed to be completely disinterested in the events that led to the security collapse of that day and singuarly focused on using their powers as a poitical cudgel.
There’s a certain poetic justice to wrongly accused Rep. Loudermilk heading up the sub-committee tasked with that responsibility.
NBC, to their credit, gave a fair description of the sub-committee, it’s purpose, and Loudermilk’s role in it. From that article:
WASHINGTON — A Republican-controlled House committee launched an inquiry Wednesday into the Democratic-controlled Jan. 6 committee, which a staff member said will review whether pertinent information about the riot was omitted from the high-profile examination of the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The House Administration’s subcommittee on oversight will be combing through the massive amount of records collected by the Jan. 6 committee, which was dissolved in January, said the staffer, with the goal of analyzing how the panel conducted the investigation.
The subcommittee — made up of four Republicans and two Democrats — will be looking into roughly two million documents and records, the source said, which the House Administration Committee obtained from the House Rules Committee after the Jan. 6 panel was dissolved. –NBC
That’s how someone tells the story when they are interested in the old-school 5W’s of journalism.
The UK-based Guardian was not so honorable. Both their headline and their opening paragraph focus attention on the now-discredited allegations of Loudermilk giving tours to people with malicious motives.
It mentions his denial of the accusations, but not the exoneration given him by law enforcement after they had reviewed the relevant footage.
To their credit, they provide direct quotes from Loudermilk, but only after they frame the story with Rep Loudermilk being either sympathetic to or a patsy of people responsible for an ‘insurrection’, not to mention painting innocent sightseers as if they are violent felons.
Is it any wonder that people have lost confidence in the inegrity of people whose job it is to tell us what’s actually happening in the world?