The Justice Department will not prevent former Trump administration officials from testifying about the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, according to a letter outlining the department’s position.
Associate deputy attorney general Bradley Weinsheimer in the memo said former top aides “are authorized to provide information you learned” during their time in the administration, according to Politico.
“Department lawyers, including those who have left the department, are obligated to protect nonpublic information they learned in the course of their work,” he adds.
“The extraordinary events in this matter constitute exceptional circumstances warranting an accommodation to Congress in this case,” reads the letter, which also says that “President [Joe] Biden has decided that it would not be appropriate to assert executive privilege” at this time.
The DOJ informed former officials that they can provide unrestricted testimony “so long as the testimony is confined to the scope of the interviews set forth by the committees,” and does not give away classified information, grand-jury information, or pending criminal cases.
The House Oversight and Senate Judiciary committees have both sent letters to former Trump officials asking for them to testify or answer questions about the Capitol riot, with the Senate panel telling witnesses that it is currently investigating “an alleged plot between then-President Donald Trump and then-acting Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Division Jeffrey Bossert Clark to use the Department of Justice to further Trump’s efforts to subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election.”
The head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., hailed the Justice Department’s decision in a tweet on Tuesday.
“The Committee has been pushing DOJ for this waiver for months. Now that we have it, we’ll proceed to interview relevant witnesses ASAP so we can get to the bottom of this plot to enlist DOJ in Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election,” he said.
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