Texas lawmaker videotaped near steps of U.S. Capitol during Jan. 6 riot will not seek reelection

Rep. Kyle Biedermann says he wants to spend more time with family, focus on growing hardware business in Facebook post

A video posted to Parler shows Texas State Representative Kyle Biedermann standing near the steps of the U.S. Capitol around 1 p.m. on January 6, 2021. (Parler, KSAT)

AUSTIN – Texas state Rep. Kyle Biedermann, who appeared to be captured on video standing near the steps of the U.S. Capitol while rioters clashed with police Jan. 6, will not seek reelection.

Biedermann, a President Trump-aligned Republican in the Texas House representing Kendall, Comal and Gillespie counties, announced on his Facebook page late last month that he will spend more time with family and focus on growing his Hill Country hardware business.

“I have been honored to represent Comal, Gillespie, and Kendall Counties these past 3 sessions and I will support a true conservative candidate to represent the new HD19,” Rep. Biedermann wrote Oct. 29, referring to the recently redrawn district maps approved by the legislature during a special session last month.

Officials at Biedermann’s Fredericksburg field office did not respond to a phone message seeking comment about the decision.

A video uploaded to the social networking site Parler appeared to show Biedermann standing near the steps of the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, as a mob clashed with Capitol Police Officers.

KSAT is not aware of any evidence tying Biedermann to the clash with law enforcement, Capitol building invasion or any other criminal conduct on Jan. 6.

The footage, which showed Biedermann standing on a concrete wall as other members of the crowd chanted “traitors” and then “U-S-A,” was included in a ProPublica project that compiled hundreds of videos posted to Parler during the lead up to the riot and the riot itself.

Biedermann, who for months refused multiple requests for comment from KSAT about Jan. 6, previously told a conservative Dallas-area talk radio host that he attended the rally at The Ellipse, a park south of the White House, about two miles away from the Capitol.

Biedermann during that Jan. 7 radio appearance claimed “a few radicals...caused the trouble” at the Capitol.

The footage, however, showed Biedermann standing and watching with other Trump supporters as hundreds of people, many of them waving Trump flags, converged on the steps of the Capitol.

As of late last month, federal prosecutors have charged more than 600 people who participated in the riot, according to an analysis by USA Today.

A Defenders investigation in March revealed that Biedermann refused to release public emails from his official government account from the dates surrounding his trip to Washington, D.C.

KSAT sent a public records request for a copy of all emails sent to and from his Texas House of Representatives email address between Dec. 10, 2020, and Jan. 11, 2021.

Under the Texas Public Information Act, email accounts maintained by taxpayer-funded government agencies, including the Texas Legislature, are considered public information.

Biedermann’s chief of staff responded to the request in late January claiming the office had nothing responsive to release.

After the Defenders challenged the claim that Biedermann had not received or sent any emails during those 30-plus days — a time period that included the start of the Texas Legislature — the chief of staff responded that it is not the office’s policy to disclose information that is confidential by law. She then cited two sections from the Texas Government Code regarding certain exceptions.

However, email records for the inbox of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, obtained by the Defenders through another open records request, show that Biedermann did indeed receive an email during that time period. Coincidentally, on Jan. 6, Biedermann received an email from Abbott naming a person from his district to the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists.

Biedermann’s office, to date, has not requested a ruling from the Texas Attorney General’s Office about whether the requested emails would be considered confidential under the public information act and could be withheld. The AG’s office is the agency that issues rulings and opinions on whether certain information is excepted from public information law.

Throughout his time in office, Biedermann has also pushed for Texas secession, though his proposed bills died in the state legislature.


About the Authors:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined the KSAT 12 Defenders in 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat. He provides restaurant health reports for KSAT's "Behind the Kitchen Door." Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

Kolten Parker is digital executive producer at KSAT. Previously, he worked at the San Antonio Express-News and the Texas Observer.