Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida has filed a resolution calling for censure of Democratic U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson for what Gaetz claims are violations of House Rules by the Jan. 6th Select Committee Thompson chaired.
Gaetz is calling for Thompson to be removed from the Homeland Security Committee, and “at a minimum” censured. Censure is a formal statement of disapproval that must be adopted by a majority of the House.
Thompson, then-chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, chaired the nine-member, bipartisan (although it only had two Republicans) select committee appointed to investigate the Jan. 6, 2021, mob attack of the U.S. Capitol. The committee in December released its final report and recommended prosecution by the U.S. Department of Justice and charges against former President Donald Trump of obstruction, fraud, conspiracy and inciting an insurrection.
Gaetz said a House Judiciary Committee investigation showed Thompson violated House rules by not turning over all the January 6th Committee records to the House clerk at the end of the 117th Congress in December.
“Thompson sent a letter to the Biden White House and the Department of Homeland Security in which he implied critical congressional records related to the work of the January 6th Committee would be improperly stored at the White House,” Gaetz said in a press release.
Thompson, in a statement Thursday, replied to Gaetz’ claims: “The Select Committee complied with the rules of the House, and I stand by its work. No one should be distracted by agents of chaos who would rather pull political stunts than protect the Capitol.”
According to numerous news reports, the January 6th Committee last year released interview transcripts from a Trump aide who testified Gaetz sought a preemptive presidential pardon relating to a federal child sex trafficking investigation. Trump and Gaetz have denied that he asked Trump for a pardon.