Leaders of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot are reportedly irate over an interview a former adviser conducted with CNN in which he disclosed details about the inquiry.
David Buckley, the staff director of the panel, ripped into a CNN appearance by former Virginia GOP Rep. Denver Riggleman, the ex-adviser, and warned the committee members to adhere to their employment agreement, which stipulates that they must receive approval from Buckley before discussing the inquiry outside of work.
“I want you to know that I am deeply disappointed in his decision to discuss the Select Committee’s work on television,” Buckley told staffers in a Wednesday email obtained by Politico. “His specific discussion about the content of subpoenaed records, our contracts, contractors and methodologies, and your hard work is unnerving.”
“That includes any conversation with Denver,” he continued. “Your commitment extends beyond your employment by the House as outlined in our handbook.”
Riggleman served as a senior technical adviser to the panel and announced he was exiting the role in April to engage in nonprofit work related to Ukraine. He has done a number of media interviews and appeared on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 on Thursday evening and New Day on Friday morning. The former GOP congressman divulged details on how the panel processed text messages from former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. Some of those Meadows text messages were published by CNN in April.
Riggleman corroborated the authenticity of those messages and suggested it could take the panel years to investigate adequately former President Donald Trump’s bid to challenge the 2020 election results on claims of fraud and irregularities.
Assertions that Riggleman breached his employment contract are “patently false,” he told Politico. He stressed that he was no longer employed by the committee and thus no longer obliged to seek approval to talk to the press. Despite the grumblings over his appearances, he maintained that he wants to “continue to help the committee in any way possible,” per the outlet.
“Riggleman also went to a conference earlier this year and was bragging about taking on Trump, having phone records, how much evidence they were collecting, etc. Spoke to a room of hundreds of anti-Trump republicans and got applause,” Josh Dawsey, an investigative reporter from the Washington Post, tweeted in response to the report.
The Washington Examiner reached out to Riggleman and a representative for the Jan. 6 committee for comment.
Next week, the Jan. 6 panel plans to hold its first public hearings as it attempts to gin up public interest in the events that led to the storming of the Capitol and behind-the-scenes efforts to challenge the 2020 election results. The committee is believed to be wrapping up its inquiry and gearing up to release a final report on its findings later this year.