Oopsie! J6 committee exposes nearly 2,000 Social Security numbers of Republicans, GOP governors, family members

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

At least no one can say that the January 6 committee didn’t have an impact! Greg Abbott, Kristi Noem, Henry McMaster, and their families will have to guard against identity theft for the rest of their lives, thanks to the committee’s work in exposing their Social Security numbers.


How many numbers got exposed? “Around 1900” of them, according to the Washington Post, which came from White House visitor logs supplied to the committee. The J6 committee failed to redact those from a spreadsheet released to the public as part of its final report on the riot.

Ben Carson, a Trump Cabinet member that had nothing to do with the riot on January 6th, claimed validation from Ronald Reagan when informed his SSN had been exposed:

When the House Jan. 6 committee wrapped up its work in recent weeks, it posted hundreds of records online, including interview transcripts, audio recordings and text messages.

Also buried in the massive cache was a spreadsheet with nearly 2,000 Social Security numbers associated with visitors to the White House in December 2020, including at least three members of Trump’s Cabinet, a few Republican governors and numerous Trump allies. …

Representatives of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) and former health and human services secretary Alex Azar, who were listed in the spreadsheet alongside Social Security numbers, declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment.

“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 listed in the spreadsheet alongside a 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.’”


Not only did a number of Republican officials and their families — Kristi Noem’s children, for instance — have their SSNs exposed, no one warned them either before or after the release. Noem’s office pointed that out when asked by the Post to comment. Most others declined to comment and thus validate the data that the committee had published to a world of scammers and identity thieves. That also includes two federal judges and “at least a half-dozen people” who testified to the committee, as well as one of their attorneys.

One committee aide, talking anonymously, claimed that the release was “inadvertent.” It wasn’t “inadvertent” as much as it was incompetent. This data should have been redacted from the records as soon as the committee received it. The National Archives, which supplied those records to the J6 committee under subpoena, told the Post that they never thought the committee would be stupid enough to release them unredacted:

The National Archives appeared to cast some blame on the Jan. 6 committee. 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.”

The statement added that The Post’s request for comment “was the first we had heard of a potential inadvertent release of personally identifiable information” and that “we are assessing the situation and any necessary steps to address an inadvertent release.”


It’s possible that this was both inadvertent and incompetent. Using Occam’s Razor, that’s the most likely conclusion to draw. It at least has the smell of retribution against Donald Trump’s allies and associates, but connecting those dots would have to assume that this committee was competent enough to conceive such a plan while performing mainly incompetently all along. We do know, though, that they behaved every bit as biased as something like this would be if it was intentional.

Nineteen hundred people or more will now have to engage in protection against identity theft for years, possibly for life, all thanks to a committee that couldn’t be trusted with sensitive information. And this is likely going to be the most impact the J6 committee ever has.

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