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House Jan. 6 Committee deleted more than 100 encrypted files days before GOP took majority

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An investigation is underway following the discovery that 117 encrypted files related to the January 6 riots were deleted by the now-disbanded House Select January 6 Committee.

The digital forensics team employed by the House Administration Subcommittee on Oversight made the discovery of the data deletion, which occurred on January 1, 2023, just before Republicans took the majority in January of the same year. The Committee, despite disbanding, managed to recover the password-protected files, shedding light on potential attempts to shield certain information from public scrutiny.

Representative Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), a member of the subcommittee, confirmed the accuracy of the reports, stating, “Unfortunately, at this time, we cannot determine what was in the deleted files.” The incident has prompted concerns among lawmakers, with Representative Greg Murphy (R-NC) questioning the motives behind the deletion: “What are they trying to hide? Their whole plan was to ‘get to the truth of the matter’. They obviously didn’t want the real truth, just ‘their’ truth.”

Fox News Digital reported that Subcommittee Chairman Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) has written to former House January 6 Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), requesting passwords to access the data demanding he provide answers and passwords for the data, which was deleted against House rules. Loudermilk pointed out discrepancies in the amount of data turned over, noting that Thompson had claimed to provide 4 terabytes of digital files, but the archived hard drives contained less than 3 terabytes.

The discrepancies included missing records, such as the identity of an individual whose testimony was not archived, specific transcribed interviews, and depositions sent to the White House and the Department of Homeland Security. Loudermilk’s follow-up letters to these entities emphasized the need for “unedited and unredacted transcripts” of testimonies.

Loudermilk demanded compliance with the requests by January 24 and requested a list of passwords for password-protected files. He questioned why the former January 6 Select Committee would prevent Americans from seeing all the evidence produced in their investigation if they had nothing to hide.

 

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Elections

DOJ says FBI informant on Biden had ‘high-level’ contacts with Russian intelligence

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In a memorandum filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada to support Alexander Smirnov’s continued pre-trial detention, the Department of Justice(DOJ) wrote that he claimed to have had “contacts with multiple foreign intelligence agencies…[who] could resettle Smirnov outside the United States if he were released.”

Smirnov, a dual citizen of the United States and Israel, was arrested and charged on Feb. 14 with making false statements to the FBI about Biden’s connections to the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings Limited, which employed his son Hunter Biden as a member of the board with a monthly salary of $50,000 during his term as vice president.

“During his custodial interview on February 14, Smirnov admitted that officials associated with Russian intelligence were involved in passing a story about [Hunter Biden],” wrote special counsel David Weiss in the filing. “Smirnov apparently attended a separate meeting with Russian Official 1, [an] individual who controls groups that are engaged in overseas assassination efforts.”

The Daily Caller News Foundation reports that Smirnov was a confidential human source who provided information that was used to prepare a report, known as an FD-1023, about Joe Biden’s alleged connections to the Burisma business partners of Hunter Biden. That report has previously served as evidence contradictingJoe Biden’s claim that he knew nothing of his son’s business dealings; a notion at the center of an impeachment inquiry against him.

The FD-1023 detailing Smirnov’s claims was released by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa on July 20, 2023, after it was provided to him by government whistleblowers. “[The] indictment confirms several points Senator Grassley has made repeatedly. The informant behind the FD-1023 was, indeed, a long-serving, trusted FBI source used by the agency for criminal investigations since the Obama administration. In fact, he was so trusted that the FBI provided him authorization ‘to engage in illegal activity for investigative purposes’,” a spokesperson for Grassley told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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