The Jan. 6 congressional committee and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are in a standoff over interview transcripts that to date the committee has refused to share despite having its first public hearing this month, a problem that is leading to further trial delays for Jan. 6 defendants.
Proud Boys leaders charged with seditious conspiracy are caught in the middle of the stalemate after their counsel filed a motion to continue the trial in order to review the transcripts prior to the hearing.
The DOJ sent a letter to the committee’s head investigative attorney reiterating their request for a copy of all witness interview transcripts.
“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 read.
“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.”
NEWS: DOJ agrees to delay Proud Boys trial until December, citing potential prejudice caused by timing of Jan. 6 select committee hearings. Unclear if Judge Kelly will go along. pic.twitter.com/KQ0uHaeIyV
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) June 16, 2022
The letter describes the DOJ’s need to review the interviews noting that they are “not just potentially relevant to our overall criminal investigations, but are likely relevant to specific prosecutions that have already commenced.”
“Moreover, it is critical that the Department be able to evaluate the credibility of witnesses who have provided statements to multiple governmental entities in assessing the strength of any potential criminal prosecutions to ensure that all relevant evidence is considered during the criminal investigations,” the DOJ officials wrote.
WOW: DOJ wrote to the select committee yesterday saying the committee is hampering criminal invsetigations by their “failure” to provide witness transcripts. pic.twitter.com/0yg1bnJiFR
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) June 16, 2022
“We cannot be sure that all relevant evidence has been considered without access to the transcripts that are uniquely within the Select Committee’s possession,” they added.
Committee Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) assured reporters the interviews would be forthcoming in “due time.”
“We will work with them, but we have a report to do,” he said on Thursday. “We are not going to stop what we are doing to share information that we’ve gotten so far with the Department of Justice.”
The DOJ consented to the motion as long as the defendants are tried together and noted in their court documents that it was still unclear when the transcripts would be released.
“While we do not know precisely when copies of the transcripts will be released, if they are released as anticipated in early September 2022, the parties to this trial will face unique prejudice because the jury for the August 8 trial will have already been sworn…”
The DOJ was condemned online for not conducting its own thorough investigation and instead relying on the seemingly partisan committee’s work.
How has the committee hampered DOJ? Shouldn’t Justice be doing their own investigation?
— Rhonda Jones Levy (@RhondaJonesLevy) June 16, 2022
The real issue is that DOJ has been too slow in conducting these investigations & prosecutions. They’ve had nearly 18 months and still no top level admin officials have been charged or cleared. Shouldn’t they have interviewed all the same people as the J6 committee by now?
— Mr Bluebird (@MrBluebird12) June 16, 2022
The House needs to give the DoJ the freaking transcripts so they can move forward with prosecutions. Time is of the essence here!
— Casual Democrat (@briansantacruz) June 16, 2022
But the issue was more straightforward to others who denied that the relationship between the DOJ and Jan. 6 committee should be labeled as contentious.
I don’t interpret this as a rift at all. Merely them requesting the transcripts to ensure that the testimonies are matching.
— Proud_Democrat (@ryannicholos) June 16, 2022
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