WASHINGTON — The House Jan. 6 committee will release transcripts of interviews investigators conducted in their investigation into the attack on the U.S. Capitol, the panel’s chairman, Bennie Thompson, said Wednesday.
“We plan to make available transcripts and other materials,” Thompson, D-Miss., told reporters on Capitol Hill. He later confirmed that the panel had finished all of its depositions.
The transcripts will be made public at the same time as the committee’s long-awaited report summarizing and detailing the probe, Thompson said, adding that he expects they would be released before the Christmas holiday.
Thompson initially indicated Wednesday that transcripts won’t be available for all the interviews because some people had a “pre-arranged agreement that we would not make them available.” He later clarified that in most cases their names would be omitted for security purposes but that the transcripts would still be made available.
“It’s a digital version that the public can access,” Thompson said when he was asked how people will be able to view the records. He did not say whose interviews would be provided or specify the number of transcripts that would be released.
The committee, which started its work in the summer of 2021, is in the final stages of the investigation. On Monday, former President Donald Trump’s former adviser Kellyanne Conway appeared for an interview voluntarily, and on Tuesday, Tony Ornato, Trump’s deputy White House chief of staff, was expected to appear for an interview, as well.
Committee staff members were informed 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 has reported. Sources said at the time that the plan was not set in stone and that it could change.
The committee needs to release the final report about its investigation before the new Congress convenes in January, when the incoming House GOP 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 pointed to recent news reports that suggested some committee staff members were concerned that the panel’s final report would focus more on Trump than on findings unrelated to him.
“It is imperative that all the information collected be preserved not just for institutional prerogatives but for transparency to the American people” once the GOP takes over the chamber on Jan. 3 and the work of the committee ends, 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 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 “conduct whatever he wants as speaker” but that the panel would conclude on Dec. 31.
Since it formed in 2021, the committee has conducted more than 1,000 interviews and depositions and has 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 to its tip line. The panel has also issued about 100 subpoenas.
Among those who sat for hours before the committee are Trump’s children Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump; the former president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner; former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani; former Trump Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark; and former Vice President Mike Pence’s aide Greg Jacob.
Zoë Richards contributed.