Nov 30, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Garland reiterates DOJ's demand for all transcripts, evidence in House Jan. 6 probe

Merrick Garland, U.S. attorney general, speaks during a news conference at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 30, 2022. Photo: Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Attorney General Merrick Garland said Wednesday that the Department of Justice is seeking access to "all the transcripts and all the other evidence" collected by the House Jan. 6 committee to use as part of the DOJ's own investigation.

Why it matters: His comments follow a monthslong effort to secure witness testimonies obtained behind closed doors. The DOJ previously suggested that the committee's failure to hand over witness transcripts undermines the federal investigation into the Capitol insurrection.

Between the lines: The panel, which has interviewed over 1,000 people, does not have the authority to pursue criminal charges. But the DOJ could use the evidence to bring in witnesses, including Trump associates, pursue potential criminal cases and conduct new interviews led by federal law enforcement officials.

What he's saying: "We would like to have all the transcripts and all the other evidence collected by the committee so that we can use it in the ordinary course of our investigations," Garland said at a news conference.

  • "We are asking for access for all of the transcripts and that’s really all I can say right now."
  • Pointing to the recent convictions of several Oath Keepers involved in the Jan. 6 insurrection, Garland added, "As the verdict of this case makes clear, the department will work tirelessly to hold accountable those responsible for crimes related to the attack on our democracy."

Their response: Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who chairs the House Jan. 6 committee, told reporters on the Hill Wednesday that the panel plans to publicly release transcripts of interviews and its long-awaited report before the Christmas holiday.

  • "We will share whatever we have with any agency that requests it just like the public will have access to our report and material, too," Thompson said.

Worth noting: The transcripts have served as a point of contention between the DOJ and committee members, some of whom have publicly criticized the DOJ's delay in acting on cases.

The big picture: The Justice Department has arrested over 900 people in connection with the riots.

Go deeper: McCarthy tells Jan. 6 committee to preserve its findings

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