During an interview between MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace with Trump impeachment majority counsel Daniel Goldman, news broke from The New York Times that the Justice Department is requesting interview transcripts from the House Select Committee Investigating the January 6, 2021 Attack on the U.S. Capitol building by a violent of mob of Donald Trump supporters.
Wallace then asked Goldman for his thoughts on the breaking news:
“This is, I think, very good news for those who want accountability for what occurred on Jan. 6. This is exactly the type of coordination you and I have talked about, Nicolle, that DOJ should be taking a lot of the information that the Jan. 6 committee has developed, and it’s the clearest indication we have that this investigation that started with the actual events of Jan. 6 is expanding now into a potential conspiracy to overturn the election, which is a federal crime.”
“There’s no point in reinventing the wheel once you have gone overt and once you’ve confirmed that you are investigating this. But it does, as you pointed out, Nicolle, reflect that this is not a narrow investigation into, you know, the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, and whatever relationship Donald Trump may have with them. No, this is a wide-ranging investigation into what is and was a massive, sprawling scheme to overturn the election,” he explained.
“And while I know Congresswoman Cheney several months ago focused on obstructing Congress, I think the more appropriate charge to look at is a broader conspiracy to overturn the election, which does not require as much direct proof about the intent of Donald Trump or others to actually obstruct Congress on Jan. 6 but backs it out a little bit at a higher level to talk about their effort to overturn the election.”
“And what this letter seems to indicate is that they want access to all of these interviews beyond any potential obstruction of Congress, because we know that the Jan. 6 committee has looked into much more than just the actual events of Jan. 6 and the planning, organizing, and lead-up to that, but they’ve looked at the broader effort to overturn the election,” he said. “And so I do think you’re right. it is an indication that the scope of this investigation is as broad as it could be.”
Attorney Jeff Robbins, who has served as both a federal prosecutor and a Senate investigative counsel, told The Hill about tensions in the investigation, because while both branches are seeking accountability for the attacks on the Capitol, each has different goals in mind for what is found:
“I can say broadly that the traditional tension between congressional investigative committees and the Department of Justice … about witnesses is that they have different interests. The Department of Justice wants to be in a position to prosecute people or to potentially prosecute people and the congressional committees want to be able to stage hearings that lay out for the American people what happened in a way that is designed to grab and keep the attention of the media and the American people.”
“So there is some — let’s call it jealousy and competing interests between the two branches.”
Members of the select committee have called for the DOJ to be more aggressive in looking into political figures, such as members of congress and the Trump administration, who played a role in inciting the attack, such as Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who has openly defied the panels subpoenas.
That sentiment was stated clearly by panel member Rep. Elaine Luria (D. VA) who charged AG Garland with being tougher:
“Attorney General Garland, do your job so we can do ours.”