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Capitol Hill Politics

House panel rejects Justice Department’s request

WASHINGTON (Transatlantic Today) — For the time being, a request by the Department Of Justice for access to the panel’s interviews has been denied by the House committee probing the January 6 insurrection in the United States Capitol. 

The request was issued as part of the Justice Department’s active criminal investigation into the assault, according to Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the panel’s chairman. However, he said it was “premature” for the panel to reveal its findings at this time because the investigation is still on. 

The Justice Department’s petition comes as investigators have issued subpoenas and sought interviews with those who were engaged in the planning of events leading up to last year’s Capitol attack. According to ABC NEWS, the request to the House committee demonstrates the extent of the Justice probe into one of the biggest assaults on democracy in American history, which has conducted over 1,000 interviews so far. 

Since a House committee laid out a rationale for what its members consider could be a credible criminal proceeding against former President Donald Trump on January 6, the Department Of Justice and Attorney General Merrick Garland have been under mounting pressure to prosecute him. 

The Justice Department investigation — the largest criminal investigation in US history — has focused largely on prosecuting those who attacked the Capitol in an effort to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory by pushing past and beating down overwhelmed police officials until they were battered and bruised.  Over 800 individuals have been apprehended in the 16 months since the uprising began, with around 280 of them pleading guilty to various federal offenses. 

Garland has provided no hint that the prosecution is thinking about bringing a lawsuit against Trump. He has promised, however, to hold all offenders of the January 6th attack, at any degree, accountable, including those who were there on that day or were somehow criminally liable for the attack on the democracy.

Thompson said that the committee had provided some evidence to the local, state, and federal agencies.

As part of its probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, the Senate intelligence committee turned down a similar request.

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