WASHINGTON — The House Jan. 6 committee will release transcripts of interviews conducted by investigators in their investigation into the attack on the US Capitol, panel Chairman Bennie Thompson said Wednesday.
“We plan to make transcripts and other materials available,” Thompson, D-Miss., told reporters on Capitol Hill. She later confirmed that the panel had terminated all of her statements.
The transcripts will be released at the same time as the committee’s long-awaited report summarizing and detailing the investigation, Thompson said, adding that he hopes they will be released before the Christmas break.
Thompson initially indicated Wednesday that the transcripts will not be available for all interviews because some people had a “prearranged agreement that we would not make them available.” He later clarified that, in most cases, their names would be withheld for security reasons, but the transcripts would still be available.
“It’s a digital version that the public can access,” Thompson said when asked how people will be able to view the records. She did not say who the interviews would be from or specify the number of transcripts that would be released.
The committee, which began its work in the summer of 2021, is in the final stages of the investigation. On Monday, former adviser to former President Donald Trump, Kellyanne Conway, voluntarily appeared for an interview, and on Tuesday, Tony Ornato, Trump’s deputy chief of staff at the White House, was also expected to appear for an interview.
Committee staffers were told this month that the final report would focus largely on Trump and less on findings about the failures of the FBI and other law enforcement agencies in the lead up to the attack, NBC News reported. . Sources said at the time that the plan was not set in stone and could change.
The committee must release the final report on its investigation before the new Congress convenes in January, when the incoming House Republican majority takes control of the chamber. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who won the caucus nomination to be the next speaker this month, reminded Thompson in a letter Wednesday that the panel’s work must be preserved. McCarthy noted recent news reports that suggested that some committee staffers were concerned that the panel’s final report would focus more on Trump than unrelated findings.
“It is imperative that all information collected be preserved not only for institutional prerogatives but also for transparency to the American people” once the Republican Party takes office on Jan. 3 and the committee’s work is completed, McCarthy wrote.
Thompson told reporters that was always the committee’s plan.
“Not just preserved but made available to the public. So, you know, the subpoena that I signed for him to come and testify before the committee will be part of the record,” Thompson said.
Thompson added that McCarthy was free to “direct whatever he wanted as a speaker” but that the panel would conclude on December 31.
Since it was formed in 2021, the committee has conducted more than 1,000 interviews and statements and received hundreds of thousands of documents. Since June, when the committee held its first series of major hearings, it has received more than 10,000 submissions on its tip line. The panel has also issued about 100 subpoenas.
Among those who sat for hours before the committee were Trump’s children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump; the son-in-law of former President Jared Kushner; former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani; former Trump Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark; and former Vice President Mike Pence, Greg Jacob.
zoe richards contributed.