The Justice Department will be given access to 20 of the House committee’s interview transcripts on January 6, as federal prosecutors have been concentrating more and more on former President Donald Trump and his associates’ attempts to annul the election results.
The panel will provide the 20 transcripts, according to a committee staffer, but “no plans to publish further transcripts at this time.” The individual, who asked to remain anonymous in order to discuss the private business deal, declined to specify which interviews the group is disseminating.
After the committee turned down a Justice Department request for transcripts in May, information is now being shared. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the committee’s chairman at the time, had declared it “premature” for the panel to release its findings because its investigation was still underway.
Since then, as the department has intensified its investigations, the panel has been negotiating an agreement regarding the materials. A number of Mike Pence’s top staffers testified before a federal grand jury, and prosecutors confiscated documents from a group of Republicans who acted as fictitious electors in states won by President Joe Biden. As they promoted allegations that Biden’s election had been stolen, Trump and his allies pressured officials in those states to replace Biden’s legitimately chosen electors with those who supported him.
It is yet unknown if prosecutors will try to prosecute Trump with a crime; he maintains his innocence.
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Attorney General Merrick Garland has stated that prosecutors will hold anyone accountable — regardless of their position — if they broke the law, despite growing demand from House Democrats to file charges against the former president.
Garland claimed the Justice Department would “bring to justice everyone who was criminally liable for interfering with the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to another” in an interview with NBC News this week.
The committee has not indicated whether it intends to eventually make all of its transcripts available to the public or the Justice Department. More than a thousand interviews were conducted by the panel on January 6, but not all of them were fully transcribed.
On Friday, the Justice Department opted not to comment on the transcripts.