Jan. 6 Committee Is Now Sharing Trump Evidence With DOJ Special Counsel

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(Bloomberg) -- The House Jan. 6 committee is now sharing evidence with federal prosecutors, who for months were critical of the panel for refusing to send over witness interview transcripts and other information, a person familiar with the communications said Wednesday.

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The committee’s sharing of investigatory material with the Justice Department and the office of Special Counsel Jack Smith started even before Monday’s unanimous public vote to refer former President Donald Trump for criminal prosecution and forward its investigative findings, according to the person, who asked not to be named to discuss matters that aren’t yet public.

After a 17-month investigation into the attack on the US Capitol, the committee voted unanimously Monday to refer Trump for prosecution by the Justice Department on four criminal offenses including inciting an insurrection, which Representative Jamie Raskin said would disqualify him from holding office, if convicted.

The committee released a summary of that report on Monday, but the full document expected to exceed 1,000 pages with attachments is set to be publicly unveiled on Wednesday.

Precisely which of the hundreds of witness interview transcripts and other evidence the committee has already sent to the Justice Department or whether the referral against Trump on four criminal counts has been transmitted was not described by the person familiar.

The Justice Department didn’t immediately respond for comment but Attorney General Merrick Garland has said the department wants all evidence collected by the committee as the special counsel begins assessing whether Trump should be charged with federal crimes.

“We would like to have all the transcripts and all the other evidence collected by the committee so that we can use it in the ordinary course of our investigations,” Garland told reporters last month. “We are asking for access to all of the transcripts.”

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson said after the panel’s meeting Monday that the Trump and other referrals would occur this week. He hinted then that “significant” evidence-sharing was already under way, saying the investigation was now in the hands of government prosecutors. The special counsel’s office already has been in contact with the committee, making requests for certain information, Thompson said.

“It’s now up to the Justice Department,” Thompson said. “I’m convinced that now that our committee has released our information, they will take the information that we’ve shared with them and proceed with the investigation.”

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