National Security

Jan. 6 committee chair says panel won’t provide DOJ ‘unilateral’ access

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) speaks as the Jan. 6 House Select Committee holds a business meeting on Monday, March 28, 2022 to consider former Trump administration officials Peter Navarro and Daniel Scavino, Jr. in contempt of Congress.
Greg Nash

Jan. 6 committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said Tuesday that the panel may not provide the Department of Justice with “unilateral” access to its products after the department requested help with a criminal investigation it is conducting.

“If they want to come in and say we want to look at something, that’s fine. But my understanding is they want to have access to our work product. And we told them no, we’re not giving that to anybody,” Thompson told reporters Tuesday evening.

“I mean, the reality is, we are conducting our own investigation. And obviously if they want to come and talk, they’re perfectly welcome to come and talk, and we have talked to them on other situations, but we can’t give them full access to our product. That would be premature at this point, because we haven’t completed our own work.”

The hesitation comes as members of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol have otherwise been increasingly vocal about their frustration with Department of Justice for not pursuing those close to former President Trump.

While the Department of Justice has charged more than 800 people in connection with the attack, its most serious charges have been filed against members of the far-right Oath Keepers group, who now face up to 20 years on seditious conspiracy charges.

The Jan. 6 committee, however, has conducted interviews with more than 1,000 people, including Trump family members and former White House employees. 

According to The New York Times, Kenneth Polite Jr., the assistant attorney general for the criminal division, and Matthew Graves, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, wrote to the panel’s investigative lead on April 20, saying the committee has conducted interviews that “may contain information relevant to a criminal investigation we are conducting.”

But it’s not clear what depositions or other products they are seeking access to.

Thompson said the request came “with no names attached to it.”

Tags Bennie Thompson Jan. 6 Committee Trump

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