Ex-staffer’s unauthorized book about Jan. 6 committee rankles members

The news that a former adviser to the committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 uprising is releasing a book billed as a “behind-the-scenes” look at the committee’s work came as a shock to most lawmakers and committee staffers, as it was announced last week.

Denver Riggleman, a former Republican congressman, will publish “The Breach” on Tuesday, just a day before the Jan. 6 final public hearing of the panel, which has gone to extraordinary lengths to prevent unauthorized leaks and to maintain sources and investigative methods below closure.

Riggleman’s book announcement came in the form of a tweet announcing his upcoming appearance on Sunday’s “60 Minutes,” when he first spoke publicly about the book. Lawmakers and staffers on the committee were largely unaware that the former staffer had spent the months since leaving the committee writing a book about his limited work on staffers — or that, according to people familiar with the matter, it was before the conclusion of the The committee’s investigation would be released, which others interviewed by the Washington Post spoke on condition of anonymity to describe private conversations.

According to a person close to the panel, senior staffers previously confronted Riggleman after rumors circulated that he was working on a book about his work for the committee. During one exchange, Riggleman told colleagues he was writing a book on a topic unrelated to his committee work. In a later conversation, before leaving the committee staff, Riggleman said he had been approached to write a book about the committee, but that it would not be published before the end of this year.

A guide to the biggest moments from the Jan. 6 committee hearings

The ex-congressman quit in April after supporting the body for eight months, saying He left the company to work at an unspecified non-profit organization related to Ukraine.

Also Read :  Oil Rises as OPEC+ Members Voice Support For Supply Cut By Investing.com

Riggleman and his book agent did not respond to requests for comment.

Riggleman also publicly boasted about the committee’s work and gave interviews — an unusual move for a congressional staffer. Earlier this year, he told a crowd of “Never Trump” Republicans at the National Press Club that he would show through his committee work that efforts to overturn the election were “all about money,” and taunted several of the individuals , against which was investigated.

He stood outside with a number of Trump critics and told them he’d just gotten new phone records and they were going to be “explosive.” He declined to say what they were, but his comments distressed those around him.

“I wish I could tell you about it,” he said of the data he reviewed for the committee. “If I did, you would be more shocked than you can imagine.”

“It’s all about the money,” he said. “I’m going to tear apart their ecosystem.”

The performances shook others working with the committee, and Riggleman eventually drew some anger from Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who originally pushed for his hiring, according to people familiar with the matter.

Riggleman, who divided his time between Washington and rural Virginia, where he owned a distillery described himself as responsible for the committee’s work, which analyzes call recordings, texts, and online activities of those involved in the attack on the US Capitol. But people familiar with his role note that the phone records were only a small part of the wide and comprehensive investigation.

“The committee’s work does not build on the foundation of Denver’s efforts,” said a person familiar with its role.

Also Read :  Competitive Irish dancing organization investigates cheating allegations

Committee staffers were furious over Riggleman’s cable news tour earlier this summer, during which he leaked private details about the staff’s work, according to people involved in the investigation. In a committee-wide email, Staff Director David Buckley said he was “deeply disappointed” by Riggleman’s decision to publicly discuss her work and that his appearance “is in direct conflict with his contract of employment.”

“His specific discussion of the contents of the subpoenaed records, our contracts, contractors and methods, and your hard work is unnerving,” Buckley wrote at the time.

In one of his appearances on CNN, Riggleman described his team’s work in linking names and numbers after receiving a cache of text messages from former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. He called the news “a roadmap” and claimed the data obtained from the news allowed the committee to “structure the investigation.”

The cache of Meadows’ writing was obtained by CNN earlier this spring.

Macmillan Publishers’ description of his forthcoming book, which Riggleman co-authored with journalist Hunter Walker, teases “previously unpublished writings from key political leaders” along with “shocking details about the Trump White House’s ties to militant extremist groups.”

In an excerpt released ahead of his interview in 60 Minutes, Riggleman revealed that on Jan. 6, 2021, the White House switchboard connected a phone call to a Capitol rioter.

“You get a real aha moment when you see the White House switchboard connect to a rioter’s phone as it’s happening,” Riggleman told 60 Minutes. “It’s a big, pretty big aha moment.”

Riggleman also addressed claims he made in the book that he was pleading with the committee to do more to obtain certain White House phone numbers.

Also Read :  Four books (and a TikToker) to inspire your queer disability justice work

“Unfortunately, I was one of those people in the beginning, you know, where I was very, very aggressive about those linked connections when I got the White House phone numbers,” Riggleman said.

A statement from the committee underscored Riggleman’s “limited knowledge” of the investigation and threw cold water at Riggleman’s claim that the committee was not pursuing evidence aggressively enough.

“He left the staff in April ahead of our hearings and much of our most important investigative work,” committee spokesman Tim Mulvey wrote. “Since his departure, the committee has followed all leads and processed and analyzed all information that has emerged from his work. We will present additional evidence to the public at our next hearing next Wednesday and a full report will be released by the end of the year.”

The committee has yet to reveal the subject of its final hearing, but is expected to reveal new information after it resumed investigative efforts during the August recess. The upcoming trial follows eight hearings in June and July that laid out a gripping and detailed account of efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 election results.

The panel’s lawmakers had previously said they hoped to shed more information about the Secret Service and Department of Defense’s response to the Jan. 6 attack after the committee learned the two agencies were using communications from phones of former and current ones official had deleted.

Investigators also questioned some of Trump’s cabinet secretaries — including Mike Pompeo, Steven Mnuchin, Robert O’Brien and Elaine Chao — about internal post-riot talks about invoking the 25th Amendment, which would see a president’s impeachment for incapacitation, mental health or physical fitness.

Source link