The January 6 committee exposed little new during its 18-month exercise in tedious political theatrics advertised under the banner of being an “investigation.”
This J6 “investigation” failed to give us any new info on the DNC pipe bomber, why Ray Epps is free when he said he “orchestrated” a Capitol breach, why J6 political prisoners are still being held for crimes that are effectively trespassing, the missing 14,000 hours of J6 video or what the hell the FBI or Nancy Pelosi did to stop the capitol from being overrun by extremists, despite knowing about the threat weeks in advance.
But amidst its cherry-picked narratives, maudlin hysterics, exclusion of exculpatory evidence, lack of counter-balancing testimony, and outright lies, the J6 committee was able to achieve something. It was able to expose nearly 2,000 Social Security numbers of Republicans, GOP governors and their family members in what amounts to a massive “dox.”
The Washington Post revealed the egregious security breach on Friday and included in its reporting is a striking passage on the role of the National Archives (this would be the same body that urged the Justice Department to take action against Donald Trump ahead of the Mar-a-Lago raid for purported ‘classified’ documents.)
While the spreadsheet with the numbers was taken down Wednesday, the high-profile nature of the people whose data was exposed probably puts them at an “elevated risk” because the information would be especially useful to intelligence agencies, said James Lee, chief operating officer of the Identity Theft Resource Center, a nonprofit organization that advises victims of identity crimes and compromises.
So everyone can follow along: The J6 committee compromised national security by leaking this information to the public.
Making matters worse, the committee reportedly never notified those who had been subjected to the breach of their personal identity information.
Exposed individuals don’t appear to have been notified about the leak. The Government Publishing Office (GPO), which originally published the file, did not respond to a request for comment on whether it planned to notify people whose Social Security numbers were exposed.
“To my knowledge, we were not notified. The governor was not notified,” said Ian Fury, a spokesman for South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. Noem (R). Social Security numbers were listed for the names of Noem, her husband and her three children.
As the Post noted, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) and former health and human services secretary Alex Azar were listed in the spreadsheet alongside Social Security numbers.
“Whether it was a careless and sloppy handling of records or a deliberate disregard of decorum, either scenario is a perfunctory and callous display of government and a frightening reminder of the current state in Washington,” said former housing and urban development secretary Ben Carson, whose name was also listed in the spreadsheet with his Social Security number. “President Reagan was a savant indeed — the nine most frightening words to hear are ‘I am from the government and here to help.’”
The National Archives then appeared to blame the Jan. 6 committee for the breach. The Archives’s public and media communications office told The Post in a statement that “while we took affirmative steps to redact personally identifiable information (PII), we did not expect that the Committee would publicly release records that still may have contained PII.”
In other words, the National Archives never thought that the J6 committee would be stupid enough to leak the unredacted personal information. The National Archives was wrong.
Follow Kyle Becker on Twitter @kylenabecker.