The committee refused to share the requested information on the basis of it being “their product”.
The New York Times first reported that the Department of Justice sent a letter to the committee requesting transcripts of its closed-door witness interviews around April 20th.
The letter reportedly advised Timothy J. Heaphy, the House panel’s lead investigator, that the interviews “may contain information relevant to a criminal investigation we are conducting”.
It did not specify which interviews it sought or who its investigation might pertain to.
Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) rejected the request as “premature”.
“We told them that as a committee, the product was ours, and we’re not giving anyone access to the work product.”
The House committee has no power to pursue criminal charges, but the DOJ is conducting a wide-ranging criminal inquiry into the role of former President Donald Trump and his associates on the events of January 6th.
That makes the committee’s reasoning for its resistance seem even more bizarre.
People familiar with the matter said the panel is attempting to negotiate a deal with the DOJ in which prosecutors would turn over evidence in exchange for the transcripts.
A spokesman for the DOJ declined to comment.