Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) introduced a resolution on Wednesday to censure Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the former Chairman of the Jan 6 Select Committee, for violating the rules of the U.S. House of Representatives by not turning over all of the committee’s records to the Clerk of the House.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) (left) and Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) (right)

An investigation by the House Judiciary Committee has determined that Thompson intentionally violated House rules by intentionally withholding some of the Jan 6 Committee’s records from the Clerk of the House in December 2022.

According to Gaetz’s resolution, Thompson sent a letter to the Biden White House and the Department of Homeland Security implying that key congressional records from the Jan 6 Committee would be improperly stored at the White House. It is unknown which records were kept and which were destroyed.

The letter Thompson sent to DHS said that the Jan 6 Committee had “concluded its hearings, released its Report, and will very soon be dissolved.” He added that the transcripts of the interviews with Secret Service agents were “for official use only information, intelligence and law enforcement sensitive records, and raw intelligence information” and were thus “not intended for public release.”

These interviews were therefore “summarized” in the committee’s final report so as not to reveal any “Secret Service operational details or private information regarding any agent.”

Thompson added that the committee had also “redacted other witness transcripts that would have disclosed that information” at the request of “certain private attorneys for Secret Service witnesses,” even though these redacted transcripts have “some relevance to the public.”


The resolution states that “under rule VII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, [a committee chair is] required to turn over all committee records to the Clerk of the House at the close of Congress, in order to further transparency and to preserve the historical record of Congress.”

The resolution alleges,

“Thompson intentionally violated [rule VII], as evidenced by his letters to the executive branch, which expressly detail his ‘expectation’ that the House property improperly turned over to the executive branch would eventually be turned over to the National Archives, an expectation that could only have salience if the materials turned over were, in fact, congressional records.”

Gaetz contends that it be resolved, that:

(1) Representative Bennie Thompson of Mississippi be censured;

(2) Representative Bennie Thompson forthwith present himself in the well of the House of Representatives for the pronouncement of censure;

(3) Representative Bennie Thompson be censured with the public reading of this resolution by the Speaker; and 

(4) Representative Bennie Thompson be, and is hereby, removed from the Committee on Homeland Security.

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