Jan 6 Panel Stalls DOJ’s Investigation

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The Department of Justice will have to wait until the January 6 committee finalizes its report to review the transcripts from over 1,000 witnesses the panel’s interviewed.

Chair of the committee Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) revealed the DOJ would have to wait for the panel’s final report when asked about when the panel would be handing over materials.

Thompson gave “about a month” as a timeline for handing over the material, adding that the committee wasn’t in any rash.

Thompson’s response means that the DOJ will have to wait — much like the public — until the end of December to access the evidence and depositions, complicating the Department’s own January 6 investigation.

The Department had requested the Committee hand over the transcripts in May. Attorney General Merrick Garland revealed the Department had maintained its request since May, saying on Wednesday (November 30) that the DOJ “would like to have all the transcripts and all the other evidence collected by the committee.”

The May request was heightened in June when the DOJ filed a lawsuit complaining that the Committee’s refusal to share the transcripts hindered its investigation.

In a letter attached to its June filing, the DOJ noted that the panel’s refusal to give “access to these transcripts complicates” the DOJ’s investigation and prosecution of those “who engaged in criminal conduct in relation to the January 6 attack on the Capitol.”

The June letter added that the DOJ was renewing its request for the transcripts of interviews it had conducted at that point.

Following the filing of the suit, the Committee agreed to share the transcripts of 20 witnesses, but Thompson revealed that the Committee had not done so.