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Tensions escalate as DOJ renews request for Jan. 6 panel transcripts


The Justice Department officers mentioned it was “critical” that the panel present prosecutors “copies of the transcripts of all its witness interviews.”

The letter was the newest reflection of escalating tensions between House investigators and Justice Department prosecutors in current weeks. It marked the primary time prosecutors immediately and publicly accused the choose committee of undermining efforts to impose felony penalties on these accountable for the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The House committee’s chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), mentioned that his panel desires to assist the Justice Department however that the upper precedence for the members proper now could be to finish their hearings, which started final week and continued Thursday, with extra classes anticipated within the coming weeks. The committee additionally intends to organize a report, he famous.

“We’re in the midst of conducting our hearing. … 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,” Thompson mentioned. “We will eventually cooperate with them.”

In earlier feedback, Thompson mentioned a few of the Justice Department’s requests went too far.

“My understanding is they want to have access to our work product. And we told them, no, we’re not giving that to anybody,” he mentioned final month.

In a associated improvement, prosecutors agreed Thursday to delay a scheduled August trial of the management of the Proud Boys, a pro-Trump militia group. Justice Department attorneys reiterated that they count on the House panel to make the witness interview transcripts public in early September, which might roil a trial whether it is underway.

Five Proud Boy leaders are set to go earlier than a jury on seditious conspiracy prices for their actions on Jan. 6. The proposed trial delay to December — backed by some defendants — would require the approval of the federal decide dealing with the case.

In addition to the transcript dispute, prosecutors are going through rising complaints from protection attorneys that the Jan. 6 panel’s releasing chosen particulars of its investigation — together with in presently ongoing public hearings — is unfair to their purchasers. They are demanding entry to all of the information and have expressed considerations that they could all be abruptly made public proper in the midst of a Proud Boys trial.

Indeed, the letter in regards to the rift between the panel and the Justice Department emerged publicly Thursday after prosecutors filed it within the Proud Boys case.

The panel has interviewed greater than 1,000 witnesses. Members have emphasised that their investigation is ongoing and can proceed till the panel releases a remaining report later this 12 months.

Members of the committee have additionally publicly criticized the Justice Department for what they’ve perceived as its sluggish motion to pursue potential instances towards former President Donald Trump and members of his interior circle. Those tensions grew not too long ago when the division declined to prosecute former Trump chief of employees Mark Meadows and shut aide Dan Scavino for defying Jan. 6 choose committee subpoenas.

Nicholas Wu contributed to this report.

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