Sen. Mike Lee seeks probe of Jan. 6 committee amid release of Capitol footage

November 19, 2023

Amid the release of previously unseen Capitol footage from Jan. 6, 2021, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) is demanding a probe into the House Select Committee that investigated the events of that day for potentially hiding some of the material in a quest to demonize former President Donald Trump, as Fox News reports.

Lee has suggested that certain members of the now-defunct panel – including former Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and then-Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois – went to improper lengths to withhold certain portions of the footage that did not fit their preferred narrative of the day's events.

The controversy has arisen anew amid House Speaker Mike Johnson's announcement that approximately 90 hours of footage taken at the Capitol during the now-infamous demonstrations would be posted to the House Administration Committee's website and would also be made available for viewing by appointment at the Capitol complex, as Roll Call explained.

According to Johnson, in time, approximately 95% of the 44,000 of existing footage from that day will be released, though certain portions containing particularly sensitive information would be excluded. The release of the footage would, according to the speaker, “provide millions of Americans, criminal defendants, public interest organizations, and the media an ability to see for themselves what happened that day, rather than having to rely upon the interpretation of a small group of government officials.”

In the aftermath of Johnson's announcement, and his own review of the footage, Lee took to X, formerly Twitter, to cast doubt on the integrity of Cheney and Kinzinger for their conduct as members of the aforementioned Jan. 6 investigatory panel and their apparent willingness to downplay – or even disappear – what he believes are key pieces of video.

“Why didn't Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger ever refer to any of these tapes? Maybe they never looked for them. Maybe they never even questioned their own narrative,” Lee began.

The senator from Utah continued, “Maybe they were just too busy selectively leaking the text messages of Republicans they wanted to defeat.”

Linking the actions of Cheney and Kinzinger on the Jan. 6 committee to what he feels are broader concerns within the government, Lee characterized the pair as the “people who helped hide the J6 tapes” and who “are cut out of the same cloth as those who will tell you that FISA 702 must be reauthorized without reforms,” adding sarcastically, “because search warrants require too much effort.”

Declaring bluntly, “We need to investigate the J6 committee,” Lee went on to blast the entire work conducted by the panel and the individual who appointed its members – then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Referencing what he believes were key omissions from the committee's presentation to the American people, Lee went on, “Given the evidence they apparently suppressed, how much footage (and how many other records) do you think Nancy Pelosi and the J6 committee deliberately lost or destroyed?”

In what may have been an attempt to blunt criticism of the type Lee was dishing out, Cheney on Friday posted footage of Jan. 6 protesters scuffling with Capitol Police offers, but that gesture did not escape the senator's notice.

Lee shot back, “Liz, we've seen footage like that a million times.”

“You made sure we saw that – and nothing else. It's the other stuff – what you deliberately hid from u – that we find so upsetting,” the lawmaker added. “Nice try.”

Emphasizing lingering suspicions that he and millions of Americans still harbor about what occurred on Jan. 6, Lee, added of the footage Cheney posted, “P.S. How many of these guys are feds? (As if you'd ever tell us).”

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