The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol released transcripts of testimony from 34 witnesses, the majority of whom pleaded the Fifth for at least some — if not most — of the panel’s questions.
Among those in the first transcript dump were former acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division Jeffrey Clark, Trump campaign lawyer John Eastman, conservative attorney Jenna Ellis, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Trump ally Roger Stone, Oath Keepers Founder Stewart Rhodes, Proud Boys Chairman Enrique Tarrio, conservative radio host Alex Jones, Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward and white nationalist Nick Fuentes.
The transcript release came the same day the committee initially planned to publish its full report. But on Wednesday afternoon, the panel announced that it was punting release of the work to Thursday. It did not cite a reason, but the change came hours before Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was set to deliver a speech during a joint meeting of Congress.
The majority of the witnesses whose transcripts were released Wednesday pleaded the Fifth amendment during their interviews with the panel. Some witnesses even invoked the Fifth for basic questions, like asking their age.
The release of the first batch of transcripts came two days after the select committee held its final public presentation. At the end of the business meeting, the panel voted on four criminal referrals to the Justice Department targeting former President Trump.
The committee recommended that the agency investigate the ex-president for inciting, assisting, or aiding and comforting an insurrection; obstructing an official proceeding; conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to make a false statement.
The panel also unveiled criminal referrals involving Eastman, who crafted two memos for the Trump campaign on strategies to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election results. The committee recommended that he be probed for obstruction of an official proceeding and conspiracy to defraud the United States.
Also on Wednesday, a “shadow committee” of five House Republicans — the same ones who were nominated to serving on the Jan. 6 panel before GOP leadership pulled them — released a counter-report regarding security failures related to the Capitol riot.