Oath Keepers

Garland: DOJ demands ‘all’ transcripts, evidence, and testimony in House probe into January 6, 2006

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Wednesday that the Justice Department wants access to all transcripts and evidence from the House investigation of January 6, 2021.

Garland’s comments in answer to a question nodded at the long-running effort of the department to obtain witness testimony that the House select committee had been unable to access behind closed doors.

Garland stated that he would like all transcripts and other evidence from the committee to be available so that he could use them in the normal course of his investigations. “We are asking to have all transcripts, and that’s all I can say at the moment.”

Garland praised the Justice Department’s recent victories, including the convictions it obtained against Oath Keepers militia members for crimes related to the attack on the US Capitol on January 6. Garland stated that the jury found two of the leaders guilty of seditious conspiracies after hearing testimony from them Tuesday. This was due to the “tireless work” of Justice Department investigators.

He stated that “as the verdict in this case shows, the department will tirelessly work to hold accountable those who were responsible for the attack on democracy on January 6, 2021,”

Garland asked for transcripts. Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson (chair of the House select committee investigating the January 6 attacks) told reporters that he expected the Justice Department first to view the transcripts of panel interviews when they are made available to the public.

The Mississippi Democrat stated Wednesday that she would share all information with any agency that requests it, just as the public will be able to access our report and materials. She added, “We are only a month away.” Therefore, I don’t believe there would be any pressure to speed up that process.

Garland also highlighted several other cases brought to his attention by the department, including the Jackson, Mississippi water crisis case. He said these cases encapsulated the department’s commitment to the rule of law, public safety, and civil rights.

Garland spoke out about Jackson, saying that “we realize how terrible the circumstances are.” It’s difficult to imagine not being capable of obtaining safe drinking water. This is something we are doing with all the urgency possible and we trust that our partners are doing the same. We will conclude this as soon as possible.

Garland confirms meeting Special Counsel Jack Smith

Garland spoke with reporters and said that he had met Jack Smith, a war crimes prosecutor, who was just appointed special counsel in probes touching upon former President Donald Trump. This was part of the decision to hire Smith.

Garland stated that he met with Smith during the decision on Mr. Smith to be special counsel. “He has been meeting up with his team members to get up-to-speed.”

Garland pointed out that Smith signed the legal briefs filed in response to the DOJ’s appeal against an order requiring a master review of all materials seized at Mar-a-Lago.

Garland stated that he had promised the American people in his statement that there would not be any pauses or hiccups in his work.

Smith’s appointment indicated that the probe was now investigating Trump’s conduct, having declared his candidacy earlier in the month for the 2024 presidential election.

Garland declined Wednesday to answer a question about whether the Oath Keepers’ new convictions will aid investigations into other people who weren’t physically present at Capitol during the attack. Stewart Rhodes (one of the defendants found guilty in seditious conspiracies) did not enter Capitol.

“I don’t want to speculate about other investigations or other aspects of the investigation. “This particular case concerns Mr. Rhodes, the other four defendants,” Garland stated while pointing out the upcoming trial for another group of Oath Keeper associates. “I don’t want to speak anymore, because Monday marks another trial.”

The Justice Department was cautious in bringing the Oath Keepers case seditious conspiracy charges. Garland initially resisted the idea. After obtaining additional evidence and securing the cooperation of other members, investigators convinced Garland to agree to the charge after they had built their case.

The Oath Keepers who were facing charges in the case were acquitted on the charge of seditious conspiracies but were convicted of other charges. The Justice Department’s partial victory in the sedition case carries significant symbolic weight. They can now frame the January 6 events as more than a spontaneous riot, but as part of a planned plan to stop Trump’s 2020 defeat.

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