Posted by on January 11, 2022 10:07 am
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Andy Biggs pushes Jan. 6 panel for access to deposition transcripts to combat ‘out of context’ fragments

U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) speaks during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing to examine a Republican-led Arizona audit of the 2020 presidential election results in Arizona’s most populous county, Maricopa, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 7, 2021. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/Pool
 JOSHUA ROBERTS/AP

Andy Biggs pushes Jan. 6 panel for access to deposition transcripts to combat ‘out of context’ fragments

Emily Brooks January 11, 09:16 AMJanuary 11, 09:16 AM

Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs asked Jan. 6 Select Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson to make transcripts of depositions that the committee has conducted available to all members, arguing in a letter first shared with the Washington Examiner that House rules mean that members should get access to the materials.

If the request is granted, it would give Republican critics of the Democratic-controlled investigation information not yet made available to them.

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“House rules clearly provide the ability for Members of Congress to attend depositions and review collected testimony,” Biggs, a former chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, said in a statement to the Washington Examiner. “The January 6 Select Committee and its sham of an investigation has denied members access to depositions, interviews, and transcripts. It is attempting to ruin reputations by leaking, out of context, fragments of testimony.”

The House rules on the use of deposition authority approved on Jan. 4, 2021, state: “Only members, committee staff designated by the chair or ranking minority member, an official reporter, the witness, and the witness’s counsel are permitted to attend.”

JAN. 6 COMMITTEE AT CROSSROADS AS REPUBLICAN MEMBERS REFUSE TO AID INQUIRY

“All committee materials including deposition records and transcripts are the property of the House, entitling Members to their review,” Biggs wrote to Thompson in the letter sent Monday afternoon. “Since members have not thus far been notified of the time and date of the completed depositions and have therefore not attended, accommodations should be made for Members to review the transcripts or electronic records.”

There are no Republican-appointed members on the committee. Republican Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the committee’s vice chairwoman, and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois were both appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In a never-before-seen move, Pelosi blocked two of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s committee recommendations from sitting on the panel, prompting McCarthy to pull his other three appointments in protest unless all five were seated.

That leaves Republicans with no minority-appointed members or legal counsel present in the deposition hearings, and they have not had access to deposition transcripts.

Indiana Republican Rep. Jim Banks, who McCarthy originally selected to be ranking member on the committee but was blocked by Pelosi, has accused the committee of “intentionally misleading witnesses” about the partisan motivations of those questioning them.

“Given that the reputations of multiple Members of Congress are being subjected to the drips and drabs of testimony being selectively released to the media, I look forward to this accommodation being made with haste,” Biggs said in the letter.

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The select committee has conducted hundreds of voluntary interviews and depositions as part of its investigation into the Jan. 6 riot and what led to it.

In December, it requested voluntary cooperation from Reps. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Jim Jordan of Ohio, but both of them indicated they would not willingly cooperate. The committee is now weighing whether it has the authority to subpoena members of Congress, a move that would break congressional norms and likely prompt a legal battle.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

Originally appeared at Washington Examiner

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