The Department pf Justice asserts that the House Jan. 6 Select Committee is withholding 1,000 witness transcripts, repeating a request that the panel had been rejected last month.
“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 Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol,” a DOJ letter signed by Criminal Division chief Kenneth Polite Jr., National Security Division head Matthew Olsen and U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves read Wednesday, Politico reported.
The letter called it “critical” that the committee provide “copies of the transcripts of all its witness interviews.”
Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., rejected that request a month ago, but now says he will help DOJ unless the committee completes its congressional report.
“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 said in May.
The letter is the first public assertion that the committee is undermining investigative efforts surrounding the events of Jan. 6, 2021, according to Politico.
“We’re in the midst of conducting our hearing,” Thompson told Politico. “We have a report to do. So, we’re not going to stop what we’re doing to share information that we’ve gotten so far with the Department of Justice.
“We will eventually cooperate with them.”
In related news, an August trial of Proud Boys leaders might be delayed until December, as transcripts from the House committee’s work might not be delivered until early September, which could affect a trial that would be underway.