Several current and former staffers on the House Jan. 6 committee are angered with Rep. Liz Cheney’s (R-Wyo.) influence over the panel’s final report and accuse her of treating the committee as the vehicle for her political future.
Fifteen people that have worked or are working for the panel spoke to the Washington Post and described Cheney, the vice chairwoman of the committee, and one of only two Republicans on the panel, as pushing to focus the upcoming report primarily on former president Donald Trump.
According to the Washington Post, findings unrelated to Trump, such as ones on the failures of law enforcement and the intelligence community to stop the Jan. 6 riot from happening, information on the financing for the Jan. 6 attack, and on militia groups and extremism, will be excluded from the final report entirely or relegated to the report’s appendix.
“We all came from prestigious jobs, dropping what we were doing because we were told this would be an important fact-finding investigation that would inform the public,” one former committee staffer told the Washington Post. “But when [the committee] became a Cheney 2024 campaign, many of us became discouraged.”
Cheney’s Communications Director and Deputy Chief of Staff Jeremy Adler blamed the “subpar” work of some staff members on the committee for why certain findings will not be included. He also forcefully acknowledged that Cheney is focusing on Trump in the final report so that an event like Jan. 6 “ never happens again.”
“Donald Trump is the first president in American history to attempt to overturn an election and prevent the peaceful transfer of power,” Adler told the Washington Post. “So, damn right Liz is ‘prioritizing’ understanding what he did and how he did it and ensuring it never happens again.”
“Some staff have submitted subpar material for the report that reflects long-held liberal biases about federal law enforcement, Republicans, and sociological issues outside the scope of the Select Committee’s work. She won’t sign onto any ‘narrative’ that suggests Republicans are inherently racist or smears men and women in law enforcement, or suggests every American who believes God has blessed America is a white supremacist,” Adler added.
Tim Mulvey, a spokesman for the House Jan. 6 committee, told the Washington Post that “a handful of disgruntled staff who are uninformed about many parts of the committee’s ongoing work” won’t have an effect on the outcome of the probe.
Staffers argue that the panel’s original mission statement when it was authorized by Congress was to discover what political forces and intelligence and security failures allowed law enforcement to be unprepared and become overwhelmed by the rioters and ensure that it doesn’t happen again. They say that by leaving out information relevant to this mission statement, the final report will lack important lessons for the future.
Staffers were reportedly told two weeks ago that none of the work unrelated to Trump would be included in the final report.
“Everybody freaked out,” a staffer told the Washington Post about the decision that was announced during a virtual meeting.
Committee members reportedly disliked chapters of the report that were too long or too academic.
“It’s not a class project — everyone doesn’t get a participation prize,” a senior Democratic aide defending the decision to exclude certain findings told the Washington Post, adding that a problem is that many of the findings are “about objectionable but completely legal things.”
The New York Post has reached out to Cheney’s office for comment.