Justice Department asks for Jan. 6 transcripts as investigation widens: report
US Attorney General Merrick Garland (AFP)

The Department of Justice has requested transcripts of interviews from the Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

"The move, coming as Attorney General Merrick B. Garland appears to be ramping up the pace of his painstaking investigation into the Capitol riot, is the clearest sign yet of a wide-ranging inquiry at the Justice Department," the newspaper reported. "The House committee has interviewed more than 1,000 people so far, and the transcripts could be used as evidence in potential criminal cases, to pursue new leads or as a baseline text for new interviews conducted by federal law enforcement officials."

The request for transcripts came from Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr.

"The Justice Department’s investigation has been operating on a separate track from the committee’s work. Generally, investigators working on the two inquiries have not been sharing information, except for at times communicating to ensure that a witness is not scheduled to appear before different investigators at the same time, according to a person with knowledge of the inquiries," the newspaper reported.

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"Thus far, the Justice Department’s investigation has focused more on lower-level activists who stormed the Capitol than on the planners of the attack. But in recent weeks, Mr. Garland has bolstered the core team tasked with handling the most sensitive and politically combustible elements of the inquiry."

The request for transcripts occurred on April 20.

The newspaper reported the request for transcripts occurred because the interviews “may contain information relevant to a criminal investigation we are conducting.”