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The Department of Justice has requested that the House committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot hand over its interview transcripts, several news outlets reported Tuesday, which could provide valuable evidence in cases related to the riot—but the committee’s chair said lawmakers won’t give up raw “work material.”
The DOJ asked for transcripts from some of the over 1,000 interviews conducted by the committee, material that could help inform future investigations by the department, in a development first reported Tuesday by the New York Times.
Committee Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said Tuesday the committee would not hand over its “work product” to anybody, including the DOJ, Politico reported.
However, Thompson said DOJ officials might be invited to review transcript material at the committee’s offices, Politico reported.
The DOJ’s request comes as the committee is reportedly debating whether to broaden its investigation or maintain a narrow focus on former President Donald Trump’s possible involvement in the riot. Many of the individuals requested to testify before the committee allegedly witnessed Trump’s behavior at key moments during the riot. On Thursday, the committee subpoenaed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)—who said Trump told him he was partially culpable for the riot—along with four other Republican lawmakers who allegedly participated in efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. However, Thompson said the committee does not plan to call Trump or former Vice President Mike Pence as witnesses, Politico reporter Kyle Cheney tweeted Tuesday.
“January 6 Committee Reportedly Doesn’t Plan To Call Trump Or Pence As Witnesses” (Forbes)