Washington- Less than 24 hours after jury in Washington, D.C. convicted two far-right membersgroup of the for crimes related to Attorney General Merrick Garland hailed the work of Justice Department prosecutors as “tireless” and said the department will continue to work “to hold accountable those responsible for crimes related to the attack on our democracy on January 6, 2021.” .
During brief remarks and press interrogations on Wednesday, the nation’s top law enforcement official said his department had begun working on the criminal case – in which members of the group wereto prevent the peaceful transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden – in January 2021, just days after the attack.
The group’s founder, Stewart Rhodes, and an associate, Kelly Meggs of Florida, were found guilty of the most serious charge to date brought by the Justice Department in its extensive investigation into Tuesday’s attack. Three other defendants – Kenneth Harrelson, Jessica Watkins and Thomas Caldwell – were acquitted of the seditious conspiracy charge, but convicted on other counts, including obstructing the work of Congress that day.
Garland’s remarks and the completion of the lawsuit came as Congress’ own investigation into the Jan. 6 attack draws to a close. Representative Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Select Committee investigating the attack,the select committee conducted what will likely be its final interview on Wednesday. Investigators are preparing to release a report on their findings before Republicans take control of the House in January.
Garland told reporters on Wednesday his department wanted access to “all” of the evidence collected by the select committee, including thousands of interview transcripts, so prosecutors could use the information “in the normal course” of their investigations. .
Earlier this year, Justice Department officials revealed in a court filing that they needed the transcripts of the Congressional committee’s interviews because they were “potentially relevant to [their] global criminal investigations. The committee chose to protect public and departmental evidence until its investigation is complete.
Thompson said in July that the select committee had “and the Department of Justice had asked to see their transcripts.
Garland also announced other “significant successes” he said the department had achieved on Tuesday, highlighting the Justice Department’s decision to intervene in the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi.
Prosecutors and city officials said theyto try to improve the conditions that left thousands of people without clean water over the summer and brought the water supply system to the brink of collapse.
The department has filed a lawsuit alleging the city failed to provide clean drinking water in a manner consistent with federal law in an effort to work with Jackson officials to establish a longer-term solution to the disparities. In the region.
“Much remains to be done” in Jackson and other communities of color, indigenous communities and low-income communities that “bear the brunt” of environmental injustices, Garland said. Prosecutors are working with the utmost “urgency” to resolve the issue, he added.
“It’s hard to imagine not being able to turn on a tap and not have clean water,” Garland said. “We will conclude this as soon as possible.”