Though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) likely assumed that her Jan. 6 select committee would encounter no interference from any part of the Biden administration in pursuing its narrative, The Hill reports that the panel has become embroiled in growing tensions with the Department of Justice in recent days.
The strain has arisen over the committee’s unwillingness to provide federal prosecutors with transcripts of witness interviews it has conducted since its inception, a refusal that has forced the postponement of a trial in which members of the Proud Boys are facing seditious conspiracy charges.
As the outlet noted, the dispute was laid bare last week in a letter from several DOJ officials to the House committee’s chief investigative counsel, and once again, a formal request for the aforementioned transcripts was issued.
“The Select Committee’s failure to grant the Department access to these transcripts complicates the Department’s ability to investigate and prosecute those who engaged in criminal conduct in relation to the January 6 attack on the Capitol,” the letter explained.
“Accordingly, we renew our request that the Select Committee provide us with copies of the transcripts of all the interviews it has conducted to date,” the officials added.
Following receipt of that letter, Jan. 6 committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) reaffirmed his stance on the matter, saying, “We will work with them, but we have a report to do. We are not gonna stop what we’re doing to share the information that we’ve gotten so far with the Department of Justice. We have to do our work.”
The conflict over transcripts is the latest indication of friction between the panel and the DOJ, with signs of irritation having emerged earlier this month over the latter’s decision not to initiate criminal contempt charges against former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows and former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino for non-cooperation with the committee’s probe.
Referencing the DOJ’s indictment of former Trump aide Peter Navarro on contempt of CongressInteres charges for similar conduct, the committee issued a statement praising that move, but also declaring, “we find the decision to reward Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino for their continued attack on the rule of law puzzling.”
Interestingly, squabbles with the DOJ are not the only hint of trouble surrounding the committee, as just last week, there appeared to be a difference of opinion between Thompson and panel co-chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) as to whether the group would ultimately issue criminal referrals as a result of their work. If, in the end, these battles will contribute to the collapse of Pelosi’s plot to politically neutralize Donald Trump once and for all, only time will tell.