The House Jan. 6 Committee has made an admission that is likely going to add fuel to critics’ complaints that the panel is blatantly partisan against former President Trump.
The committee has admitted to doctoring a text between Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, one of Trump’s most ardent supporters, and then-Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, as The Federalist initially reported.
According to the outlet:
Following reporting by The Federalist that Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and his staff doctored a text message between Rep. Jim Jordan and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, the House Jan. 6 committee admitted over email that it did, in fact, doctor the text message.
As The Federalist reported on Wednesday morning, on Jan. 5, 2021, Jordan forwarded to Meadows a three-paragraph legal summary from attorney Joseph Schmitz, summarizing a four-page legal memorandum Schmitz had written regarding congressional certification of the 2020 presidential electoral vote count.
In a statement to The Federalist, a Democrat spokesman for the committee admitted that the text was altered.
“The Select Committee on Monday created and provided Representative Schiff a graphic to use during the business meeting quoting from a text message from ‘a lawmaker’ to Mr. Meadows,” the spokesman wrote. “The graphic read, ‘On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all.’”
“In the graphic, the period at the end of that sentence was added inadvertently,” the spokesman acknowledged. “The Select Committee is responsible for and regrets the error.”
The spokesman didn’t go into details about how it was possible to “inadvertently” cut a sentence in half then go on to eliminate the last two paragraphs of a detailed legal summary.
In addition, the spokesman did not “explain why Schiff attributed the content of the text to Jordan, ‘a lawmaker,’ rather than to Schmitz, the attorney who wrote it,” The Federalist continued.
The outlet provided details on its previous report:
As The Federalist reported on Wednesday morning, the original Jan. 5 text to Jordan was written by Washington attorney and former Department of Defense Inspector General Joseph Schmitz and included an attachment of a four-page draft Word document drafted by Schmitz that detailed Schmitz’s legal reasoning for suggesting that Pence had the constitutional authority to object to the certification of electoral votes submitted by a handful of states. The piece that Schmitz had sent to Jordan was published at the website everylegal.vote the next morning and even included the same “DISCUSSION DRAFT” heading and timestamp as the document that Schmitz sent to Jordan.
In his statement, Schiff erased the final two paragraphs and the final clause of the first paragraph of the text message before inserting punctuation that was never there, all without disclosing what he was doing. The graphic displayed by Schiff, which was doctored to look like an exact screenshot, was similarly doctored, as it contained content that was never in the original message and eliminated content that was.
House Republicans have always been concerned that the committee would conduct a highly partisan investigation of the former president.
In July, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy pulled all five Republicans he named to sit on a Jan. 6 committee empaneled by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after she rejected two of his nominees.
“Denying the voices of members who have served in the military and law enforcement, as well as leaders of standing committees, has made it undeniable that this panel has lost all legitimacy and credibility and shows the Speaker is more interested in playing politics than seeking the truth,” McCarthy said.
Pelosi said she would let Reps. Rodney Davis, Kelly Armstrong, and Troy Nehls onto the committee, which is controlled by Democrats, after she formed it when Republican senators rejected its formation saying it would be partisan and unnecessary since the FBI and other congressional committees were already investigating the Jan. 6 riot.
“Unless Speaker Pelosi reverses course and seats all five Republican nominees, Republicans will not be party to their sham process and will instead pursue our own investigation of the facts.,” McCarthy noted further.
Previously, Pelosi named Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, a strong critic of former President Donald Trump, to the panel.
Jordan and Banks, meanwhile, are staunch supporters of Trump.
“What is Nancy Pelosi afraid of?” House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York asked in a separate statement, describing the select committee “an absolute sham.”