The January 6th Committee was put in place to investigate what happened at our nation’s capital on January 6, 2021, and its causes. In order to do that, the Committee needs access to records held by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and seven other Executive Branch agencies.
On August 25, 2021, the Chairman of the January 6th Committee, Bennie G. Thompson, announced the first round of demands for records. The Chairman also renewed and expanded upon the requests of other committees from earlier in the year. Chairman Thompson gave the agencies a two-week deadline to produce the materials.
A letter was sent to Christopher A. Wray, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Steve Vanech, Acting Director of National Counterterrorism Center; Joseph Maher, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Acting Secretary Office of Intelligence and Analysis (U.S. Department of Homeland Security); and John Ratcliffe, Director of National Intelligence Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Here is a list of the information the January 6th Committee asked for:
- What elements of the Intelligence Community (“IC”) and federal law enforcement knew about the threats and destruction before, during, and after the insurrection; whether such information was shared with appropriate personnel and if so, how; whether any information was paused, delayed, or withheld; and whether the insurrection had any nexus to foreign influence or misinformation efforts, and to what degree foreign powers have sought to exploit and aggravate the crisis;
- Whether any current or former holders of security clearances and/or of positions in U.S. national security, justice, defense, or homeland security organizations participated in the insurrection; and
- The policy and other responses to the insurrection, to include measures to identify, apprehend or prevent the travel of those who committed crimes, including any Domestic Violent Extremists.
Here is a list of the documents and records that the January 6th Committee asked for:
The Committee asked the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI); the Committee on Homeland Security; the Committee on the Judiciary; Committee on Oversight and Reform; The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) and other appropriate components of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and its National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) to produce the following to the Committees.
- All intelligence – whether raw or finished – that refers or relates to events that could or ultimately did transpire on January 6, 2021, or refers or relates to threats in connection with the U.S. presidential inauguration, including all assessments, bulletins, notes, spot reports, situation reports, briefing materials for senior officials, or requests for assistance and;
- All documents or materials that refer or relate to events that could or ultimately did transpire on January 6, or refer or relate to threats in connection with the U.S. presidential inauguration.
The Committees also requested briefings for specific groupings of agencies:
From the FBI, DHS, I&A, NCTC, and others as appropriate:
- A joint classified briefing to the Committees the week of January 22-26 regarding the extent of the Intelligence Community’s (IC) knowledge of a threat against the U.S. Capitol and surrounding area before, during and after the January 6 attack; and/or in the days leading up to the U.S. Presidential inaugural. The briefing should address whether and how such information was shared with appropriate law enforcement and other counterparts; whether any was paused, delayed, or withheld; and whether the insurrection had any nexus to foreign influence or misinformation.
- A joint classified briefing to HPSCI during the week of February 1-5 on how the Terrorism Screening Center (TSC) and National Vetting Center (NVC) apply screening and vetting to Domestic Violent Extremists (DVEs), including support from the Intelligence Community to such efforts.
From the FBI:
- A briefing to HPSCI during the week of February 1-5, in coordination with the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) and any other applicable federal department or agency, on whether current or former holders of security clearances and/or of the U.S. national security, justice, defense, or homeland security positions participated in violence or other criminal activity relative to the January 6 insurrection and attacks on the U.S. Capitol; and if so, any actions taken in response.
- A briefing to the Committees during the week of February 1-5 to answer questions on specific concerns on the FBI’s intelligence, information sharing and response.
From the DHS I&A and other appropriate components of DHS:
- A briefing to the Committees during the week of February 15-19 on the threat posed by DVEs and targeted violence and prevention programs to counter DVEs
From the NCTC:
- A briefing to HPSCI during the week of February 8-12 on how NCTC is supporting FBI and DHS on DVEs, including but not limited to the January 6 insurrection and any transnational links between DVEs and other extremists.
- A briefing to HPSCI during the week of February 8-12 on the efficacy of security clearance and background investigation processes intended to identify and mitigate threats posed by violent extremists, including the ongoing transition to recurrent vetting and the integration of rigorous checks of open source information and social media.
The January 6th Committee stated that it sent letters to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Department of Defense; Department of Homeland Security; Department of the Interior; Department of Justice; Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); National Counterrorism Center; and the Office of National Intelligence.
Here is a letter from the January 6th Committee that briefly describes the records it is demanding from the Executive Branch:
These requests press agencies to complete unfulfilled requests from January and March of this year originally sent by other House committees probing the January 6th attack. The letters also request additional new information from the various agencies. The requests include but are not limited to:January 6th Committee
National Archives and Records Administration: Executive Branch records pertaining to strategies and plans to derail the Electoral College vote count; planning for and coordination of the rallies leading up to January 6th; the former President’s knowledge of the election results and what he communicated to the American people about the election; potential plans to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power and challenge the validity of the 2020 election.
Department of Defense: Records pertaining to potential invocation of the Insurrection Act, martial law, or the 25th Amendment; potential use of the military to impede or ensure the peaceful transfer of power; deployment of law enforcement or military assets to the Capitol on January 6th; and communications with other government entities during the attack on the Capitol.
Department of Homeland Security: Records pertaining to intelligence gathered prior to January 6th on events that might occur on that day; the monitoring of social media platforms and communication with social media companies regarding dissemination of misinformation or indication of threats of violence in the months prior to January 6th; the Secret Service protection of former Vice President Mike Pence and his family on January 6th.
Department of the Interior: Records pertaining to permits for events in Washington DC related to the 2020 election; communications among senior agency leadership and United States Park Service Police and with other government entities regarding and during the January 6th attack.
Department of Justice: Records pertaining to potential invocation of the Insurrection Act, martial law, or the 25th Amendment; communications between the Department and the former President’s campaign legal team and others dealing with the validity of the 2020 election or challenges to the election’s outcome; the Vice President’s role as presiding officer in the certifications of the votes of the Electoral College; coordination and communications with other government entities during the January 6th attack.
Federal Bureau of Investigation: Records pertaining to intelligence gathered prior to January 6th on events that might occur on that day; concerns about the government’s ability to handle events that might occur on January 6th; Bureau policies regarding monitoring or reporting on social media communications, and on First Amendment activities; communications between the Bureau and other government entities regarding threats of and preparedness for violence on January 6th
National Counterterrorism Center & Office of the Director of National Intelligence: Records pertaining to briefing materials for senior officials prior to January 6th on events that might occur that day; policies on monitoring and reporting on communications on social media platforms; communications with other government entities relating to the January 6th attack and the rallies leading up to it.
January 6th Committee Demands Records is a post written by Jen Thorpe on Book of Jen and is not allowed to be copied to other sites. If you enjoyed this blog post please consider supporting me on Ko-fi. Thank you!