Washington — The Justice Department is conducting a closed-door interview with a House committee investigating the January 6 attack, including fellow former President Donald J. Trump, according to people familiar with the situation. I asked for a record.
This move is further evidence of the broad nature of the ministry’s criminal investigation into cases leading up to the attack on the Capitol and the role it played when Mr. Trump and his allies tried to keep him in power after the defeat. .. Elections for 2020.
The House Commission, which is not authorized to pursue criminal accusations, has interviewed more than 1,000 people so far, and the Justice Department is seeking new leads or new interviews as evidence of potential criminal cases. You can use the transcript as a baseline for. Implemented by federal law enforcement authorities.
Mississippi Democratic Party Assistant Bennie Thompson and the chairman of the committee have not yet reached a final agreement with the Justice Department on what will be handed over, according to someone with knowledge of the matter spoken on anonymous terms. Due to the confidentiality of the investigation.
On April 20, Kenneth A. Polite Jr., Assistant Assistant Attorney of the Criminal Division, and Matthew M. Graves, a U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia, wrote to Timothy J. Heaphy, Chief Investigator of the House Panel. I sent that. Interviews with some committees advised him that “it may contain information related to the criminal investigations we are conducting.”
Polite and Graves did not indicate the number of brushstrokes they requested or whether the interview was of particular interest. In their letter, they made a wide range of requests, asking the panel to “provide us with a record of these interviews and a record of additional interviews you will make in the future.”
Those familiar with the matter said the writing record was part of the negotiations between the Commission and the Justice Ministry, and the panel wanted prosecutors to submit evidence in exchange for the writing record.
“Interviews owned by the Commission are the property of the Commission,” said Congressman Jamie Raskin, a Democrat and panel member in Maryland. “The Commission will want to see the relevant evidence used in the relevant legal context.”
Asked about the Justice Department’s request after this article was published, Mr. Thompson made the difference between passing committee material and allowing certain documents to be reviewed. He suggested that the panel was spending a considerable amount of time and effort to conduct so many interviews and was reluctant to simply turn them over.
“We cannot give them full access to our products,” he told reporters. “It would be premature at this point because we haven’t completed our work.”
A spokesman for the Justice Ministry declined to comment.
The departmental investigation is conducted on a separate track from the work of the committee. According to investigators, investigators working on two investigations generally communicate to ensure that witnesses do not appear in front of different investigators at the same time. And do not share information.
So far, the Justice Department has charged more than 800 people on charges related to the attack on the Capitol. However, over the past few months, the ministry has taken steps to significantly expand its focus to consider plans for a January 6 rally prior to the riots, while at the same time investigating the investigation to overturn the elections. It shows that it involves a wider range of efforts. And in recent weeks, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland has strengthened the core team tasked with dealing with the most sensitive and politically flammable elements of the investigation.
A few months ago, department Quiet details A veteran federal prosecutor headquartered from Thomas Wyndham, Maryland. He oversees the politically questionable issue of whether proceedings can be filed in connection with other efforts to overturn the election, except for the parliamentary raid. That mission has the potential to bring the investigation closer to Mr. Trump and his inner circle.
The subpoena reviewed by the New York Times shows that the Justice Department is investigating the actions taken by the rally planners.
Prosecutors have begun seeking records of those who organized or spoken at several Protrump rallies after the 2020 elections, who provided security at those events, and who were considered “VIP participants.” rice field.
They also, as the subpoena states, information about members of the government and legislature who participated in the planning or execution of the rally or attempted to “interfere, influence, obstruct, or delay” the recognition of elections. I am seeking.
The Justice Department’s request for written records is the situation in which the House Commission covered how much evidence, and a parliamentary investigation with sufficient personnel before the grand jury investigation received testimony from key witnesses. Emphasizes the unusual nature of.
The committee says it Considering a criminal referral Sending Mr. Trump and some of his associates to the Justice Department could put pressure on Mr. Garland to file a proceeding.
In the judgment of the civil lawsuit filed by the committee, Federal Judge Found in March Mr. Trump and his lawyer, John Eastman, who advised him on how to overthrow the election, are likely to have committed felony, including interfering with Congress’s work and colluding to deceive the United States.
The House Committee, consisting of seven Democrats and two Republicans, is headed by Mr. Thompson and House of Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming. The committee has approximately 45 employees, including more than 12 former federal prosecutors and two former US lawyers, spending more than $ 1.6 million quarterly on its work.
The Commission obtained documents and testimony from a wide range of witnesses, including more than 12 Trump White House officials, rally planners, and the rioters themselves.
Those witnesses include White House lawyers. Justice Ministry officials; Security guards; Members of the National Guard. Staff close to former Vice President Mike Pence. A member of Mr. Trump’s personal legal team. A Republican who participated in a plan to nominate Protrump voters from the victorious states of Joseph R. Biden Jr. Mr. Trump’s own family. And the leader of the right-wing militia group.
At least 16 Trump allies have indicated that they will not fully cooperate with the Commission.Faced with such resistance, panel investigators Extracted one page from the prosecution of organized crime He quietly turned at least six lower-level Trump management staff into witnesses and provided information about his boss’s activities.
Some of these witnesses, including former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’ aide, provided important information.
The Commission also sought testimony from Republican lawmakers, and it was Subpoena issued to 5 members last week. These members despised the work of the panel, but did not say whether they would attend the interview scheduled for the end of May. Ohio’s Jim Jordan, one of the lawmakers, said he received a subpoena on Monday and is considering it.
Garland and his top aides have been careful not to disclose the investigation method and have sought to emphasize fairness with limited public comments on the investigation.
“We are investigating behavior and crime, not people or perspectives,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco said in an interview at the University of Chicago last week.
“We follow the evidence,” she added. “It’s very important to do it systematically.”