The Department of Justice asked the House of Representatives committee investigating last year’s attack on the U.S. Capitol to turn over some transcripts from interviews conducted as part of its probe, the panel’s chairman said on Tuesday. The Justice Department wants the transcripts to help its investigation and bring in witnesses, but the Committee isn’t quite ready to let go of them.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) told reporters that the DOJ had asked for the transcripts but wouldn’t specify which witness testimonies it was seeking. However, Rep. Thompson made it clear that the panel had not yet agreed to turn them over. “It’s our work product. It’s the committee’s work product,” Rep. Thompson said. “We’re in the midst of our work. If they want to come and talk, just like we’ve had other agencies to come and talk, we’d be happy to talk to them, but we can’t give them access to our work product at this point,” he said.
Rep. Thompson said the Committee plans to turn over the transcripts when it has completed its investigation, which is a ways off as they prepare for televised hearings in June. The Committee sent subpoenas to five House Republicans last week, including Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), demanding that they sit for interviews. So far none of them have responded to the subpoenas.
The Select Committee has subpoenaed Representatives Kevin McCarthy, Scott Perry, Jim Jordan, Andy Biggs, and Mo Brooks for deposition testimony as part of the committee’s investigation into the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol and its causes.
— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) May 12, 2022
There has been tension between the Committee and the DOJ for months, ever since the contempt referral for former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. More than five months since it was sent over by the House, the referral still has not been acted on by the DOJ. The Committee has been frustrated by the lack of response, especially after the quick decision by the DOJ to indict Steve Bannon within weeks of the committee sending the referral.
.@JoyceWhiteVance: "Increasingly, between the January 6th committee's work and this increasing pile of cooperators DOJ is developing, it looks like progress is being made." #TheReidOut pic.twitter.com/Ve29G3nKTv
— The ReidOut (@thereidout) April 12, 2022
“This committee is doing its job,” committee member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) said. “The Department of Justice needs to do theirs.”