The photographs by ex-White House photographer Shealah Craighead could show what Donald Trump was doing as a mob of his supporters assaulted police and stormed the Capitol
The House select committee investigating the 6 Janeiro 2021 attack on the Capitol has obtained a trove of photographs which may document former president Donald Trump’s activities on the day a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol in hopes of stopping Congress from certifying Joe Biden'S 2020 election victory.
De acordo com Político, many of the photographs were taken by Shealah Craighead, who served as Mr Trump’s official Casa branca fotógrafo.
Ms Craighead was a federal employee serving in the Executive Office of the President and the thousands of photographs she took during Mr Trump’s presidency are considered presidential records. Her photographic archives were placed in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration (Nara) when Mr Trump’s term expired on 20 Janeiro 2021.
The photographs were reportedly turned over to the panel as part of a series of document caches Nara is delivering following court rulings which denied Mr Trump’s claim of executive privilege over many of the White House records sought by the select committee.
President Joe Biden has also declined to exert the privilege over records related to the 6 January insurrection, citing what then-White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called the “unique and extraordinary circumstances” of the attack.
Select committee chairman Bennie Thompson told Político the panel had obtained some of Ms Craighead’s photographs but declined to elaborate on what was depicted in any of them.
Asked whether the panel has spoken to the former White House photographer, Mr Thompson replied: “Not yet”.
All US presidents have employed an official photographer since the administration of John F Kennedy, who tasked Cecil Stoughton, a Captain in the US army assigned to the White House Army Signal Agency, with documenting the activities of the First Family and the Kennedy Administration.
White House photographers are often present during key meetings and events not seen by the general public, such as the 2011 White House Situation Room meeting during which then-president Barack Obama and his advisers monitored the Seal Team Six mission which ended with the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Ms Craighead’s digitally-timestamped photographs could provide the committee with minute-by-minute depictions of Mr Trump’s movements, activities, and those of anyone present with him during the period before and during the attack on the Capitol.
In court filings, the panel has already disclosed that it has evidence showing scores of people close to Mr Trump, including members of his own family, pleaded with him to call off the mob during the attack.
According to Stephanie Grisham, who served as then-First Lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff and communications director on the day of the insurrection, Mr Trump “gleefully” watched his supporters assault police officers and lay waste to the Capitol, “hitting rewind” on his digital video recorder several times to see his supporters “fighting” for him.