Thompson: Jan. 6 panel may start sharing info with DOJ next month
The House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack may start sharing information with the Department of Justice (DOJ) next month but has no plans to completely hand over its trove of witness interviews, the panel’s chairman said Wednesday.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) told reporters that the select committee may try to establish a process for allowing DOJ personnel to come in and review the panel’s work in July before the end of its series of public hearings.
“Well, we’re moving forward,” Thompson said when asked about talks between the DOJ and the select committee. “We will probably do something in the month of July. But it probably will not be before we complete the hearings.”
But Thompson reiterated his refusal to hand over transcripts of witness interviews before the committee’s work has finished.
“They’re our product,” Thompson said. “And now, if they want to come and have an opportunity to sit and review and that kind of thing, I think we can work that out.”
The committee’s interview transcripts have been a source of growing tension between congressional investigators and federal law enforcement.
Last week, prosecutors said the committee’s refusal to turn over the documents forced them to agree to delay the trial date for a group of Proud Boys charged with seditious conspiracy over the Jan. 6 attack.
In a letter last week to the select committee’s chief investigator, leaders in the Department of Justice said the refusal to grant access to the transcripts was impeding their investigation.
“The Select Committee’s failure to grant the Department access to these transcripts complicates the Department’s ability to investigate and prosecute those who engaged in criminal conduct in relation to the January 6 attack on the Capitol,” the letter stated. “Accordingly, we renew our request that the Select Committee provide us with copies of the transcripts of all the interviews it has conducted to date.”
The panel signaled on Wednesday that it would pause its hearings for next week and pick up again next month.
Rebecca Beitsch contributed.
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