The Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating the January 6 attempt by Donald Trump to overthrow democracy. As of yesterday they requested transcripts from Jan 6 witnesses confirming Trump’s worst nightmare.
Committee chair Thompson told reporters he did not mind DOJ people coming over to take a look at all of the thousand-plus documents in its possession. Indeed, other governmental departments have already done so:
‘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 added that the DOJ had made a very general request regarding which depositions it needed to see rather than a specific request:
‘They wanted access to depositions. But my understanding is they didn’t tell us specifically what transcripts or anything like that.’
The DOJ indicated that it needed the transcriptions as additional sources of information to further its investigation. For example, it needed stronger reasons to bring in certain witnesses.
Apparently, the DOJ wanted to build a contempt charge for the former Trump Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows. The department was also irritated by the Select Committee’s response given how fast the DOJ charged Steve Bannon on behalf of the January 6 Committee.
However, the Committee members have gone public in their criticism of the DOJ. Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) commented, The Business Insider reported:
‘This committee is doing its job. The Department of Justice needs to do theirs.’
Committee member Representative Jamie Raskin (D-ML) said that both entities can profit from mutual sharing:
‘The interviews in the possession of the committee are the property of the committee. And I imagine that the committee will want to see any relevant evidence used in any relevant legal context.’
The Select Committee did not respond to the DOJ’s request for transcripts at all. Then last April, Attorney General (AG) Merrick Garland tossed off a response when reporters questioned the DOJ’s lack of sharing:
‘We don’t comment on ongoing referrals.’
The New York Times was the first to write about the DOJ’s ask for Select Committee’s transcripts.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
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