Lawyer for Jan. 6 Committee Who is Running for MO Congress Led Botched DHS Response to Hurricane Katrina
John Wood, an independent candidate for Congress in Missouri, previously ran the botched Department of Homeland Security response to Hurricane Katrina.
Wood was also the senior investigative counsel on the House Select Committee Investigating January 6 and is a close associate of outgoing Rep. Liz Cheney.
In February 2005, John Wood joined DHS as the department’s Chief of Staff.
During Hurricane Katrina, Wood received an eyewitness account of a levee failure (sent directly to him in an email). Instead of responding quickly, Wood failed to inform his bosses or respond with the Department where he led “day-to-day business.”
According to a report from the New York Times on the disaster, Wood led “what is universally agreed to be a flawed government response to the worst natural disaster in modern American history.”
On August 29, 2005, Wood was informed by The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that the levees broke and that there was serious flooding, fires, and other issues.
In an email message from the agency’s public affairs staff to Wood, obtained by the Times, he was informed that there was “extensive flooding and more stranded people than they had thought.”
“FYI from FEMA,” said the email. “Conditions are far more serious than media reports are currently reflecting. Finding extensive flooding and more stranded people than they had thought — also a number of fires.”
The following day, despite having this information, Wood failed to act and potentially save the lives of many being hit by Katrina. He also kept his superiors in the dark about how bad the situation really was in New Orleans.
That day, President George W. Bush said that he was feeling relieved that New Orleans had “dodged the bullet,” because Wood failed to give him essential information, the New York Times reported.
Secretary Chertoff, John Wood’s direct boss, similarly felt confident and flew Tuesday to Atlanta for a briefing on avian flu.
In reality, the levees were broken and the entire city was being flooded. People were stranded on their rooftops, many were dying, looting was taking place, and fires were raging.
By September 4, 2005, Wood was continuing to cover up information about when the levees actually broke.
Wood’s boss, Secretary Michael Chertoff, continued to insist that the levee did not break on Monday, the Times reported.
“The hurricane started to depart the area on Monday, and then Tuesday morning the levee broke and the water started to flood into New Orleans,” Chertoff said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
In February 2006, a Congressional investigation revealed that John Wood concealed the levee break.
According to a statement from the United States Government Accountability Office, the delay caused by Wood resulted in DHS failing to declare Katrina as a catastrophic event, which failed to trigger appropriate resources.
Ultimately, 1,833 people lost their lives — many, due to the botched response.
Instead of hiding his face in shame or being held accountable for this deadly failure, Wood instead believes that he should be trusted to represent the people of Missouri.
Wood will be facing off against Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Democrat Trudy Busch Valentine in November.
Schmitt is Missouri’s 43rd Attorney General and was a massive supporter of Trump’s policies during his presidency.
According to his website, “Eric was the first Attorney General to sue China to hold them accountable for unleashing the coronavirus on Americans. When Facebook was canceling conservatives and Google was using their platform to hurt consumers and businesses, Eric filed a lawsuit and launched a massive antitrust probe to stop Big Tech abuses. When voter integrity came into question, Eric authored and led the brief supporting the Pennsylvania Republican Party against the unconstitutional actions of the Pennsylvania courts, and he authored and led a brief in support of Texas’ lawsuit against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin before the United States Supreme Court, where 17 other states to joined him.”
Schmitt has also been fearless in taking on the Biden administration to hold them “accountable, protect the Constitution and the America First Agenda.”
“He has been on the front lines of every fight President Biden has waged against our jobs, our freedoms, and our safety. When President Biden canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline and thousands of jobs with it, Eric demanded it be reinstated and filed suit. When President Biden and John Kerry circumvented the Constitution to set a ‘social cost’ on greenhouse gases, a move that would cost not thousands but millions of jobs, destroy the energy and agriculture industries, and lower the standard of living for working families, Eric immediately sued him,” his website continues.
“When Joe Biden halted Operation Talon endangering American lives, Eric pushed back against President Biden, urging him to reverse his order.”