The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol received a formal request from the Justice Department to share copies of its witness interviews, which the committee will do “in due course,” Chairman Rep. Bennie said Thompson (D-Miss.) said Thursday.
“We can’t stop our work just because someone writes us a letter,” Thompson said after the panel’s third hearing on the Capitol riot. “Now we will cooperate with them, but the committee has its own schedule.”
The Justice Department sent a letter to the committee on Wednesday urging the committee to provide copies of all of its witness interviews. The agency stressed that the testimonies are vital to its investigation into the Jan. 6 violence.
“It is now readily apparent that the interviews conducted by the Special Committee are not only potentially relevant to our overall criminal investigation, but are also likely to be relevant to certain prosecutions that have already begun,” the letter reads. “The failure of the select committee to provide the department with access to these transcripts is complicating the department’s ability to investigate and prosecute those involved in criminal acts related to the January 6 attack on the Capitol.”
Thompson emphasized that the committee received the letter “only yesterday.”
“We’re checking it out. We will respond, but we are conducting our hearings. We have a program that we need to get over. We need to find out the facts and circumstances behind January 6,” he said. “We will not stop sharing the information we have received so far with the Department of Justice. We have to do our job.”
Thompson said the transcripts would not be filed with the Justice Department by the end of the week.
“It doesn’t mean that we don’t go into the company,” he said. “We interviewed over 1,000 witnesses. That means we would have to shut down our work and then work with the Department of Justice. We will eventually work with them. … We still have many other things to do.
“Nobody wants to get to the bottom of what happened more than our committee and we will do that,” he said.
https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2022-06-16/jan-6-committee-will-cooperate-with-justice-department-in-due-time-chairman-says Justice Department seeks Jan. 6 committee cooperation