Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the committee’s chairman, said Tuesday that the Justice Department had made the request as part of its ongoing criminal investigation into the attack. But he said it was “premature” for the committee to share its work at this point because the panel’s probe is ongoing.
The Justice Department’s request comes as prosecutors have been issuing subpoenas and seeking interviews with people who had been involved in planning events leading up to the attack on the Capitol last year. The request to the House panel — which has conducted more than 1,000 interviews so far — exemplifies the breadth of the Justice investigation into one of the largest attacks on democracy in American history.
“The interviews in the possession of the committee are the property of the committee,” said Representative Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland and a member of the panel. “I imagine that the committee will want to see any relevant evidence used with any relevant legal context.”
Asked about the Justice Department’s request after this article was published, Mr. Thompson drew a distinction between handing over the committee’s materials and allowing certain documents to be reviewed. He suggested that the panel had invested significant time and effort into conducting so many interviews and was reluctant to simply turn them over.
“We can’t give them full access to our product,” he told reporters. “That would be premature at this point, because we haven’t completed our own work.”
From yesterday’s NY Times