Opinion |: The January 6 commission simply made a blunder of epic proportions

The Department of Justice has sent a letter to the House of Representatives Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, demanding protocols. Closed-door interviews with witnesses The commission shared with the department. The letter, which was sent on April 20, was first announced on Tuesday The New York Times:.

Instead of willingly agreeing to the Justice Department’s request, Committee Chair Benny Thompson, Miss Miss, rejected it as “premature” after a news report.

Even if the board did not send its request, the exchange of all this year’s protocols should have been a priority for all members of the January 6 commission.

This is a gross mistake of epic proportions.

The only sensible answer is to promptly submit to the Department of Justice not only each transcript of more than 1,000 interviews conducted by it, but all the evidence at the disposal of the commission.

With a protective response to grass cover, Thompson said“We told them that as a committee, the product is ours, we do not allow anyone to access the product.” He also said that department officials can get acquainted with the documents in person.

This response is a critical miscalculation. For two reasons, anything other than full cooperation could undermine the prosecution of those who instigated the Capitol riot.

First, after the November deadline probably that the Republicans will regain control of the House, և like the members of the Republican Party threatened to do If that happens, the January 6 investigation may be closed. The documents of non-public witnesses of the House Committee can then be stored in a government warehouse. Prosecutors need time to gather enough evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt before anyone can be charged. These transcripts of interviews will provide federal prosecutors with the start of that effort.

Second, a little-known legal trap can defeat any prosecution if the committee fails to provide evidence to the Department of Justice. Two categories of documents are included: all announcements “Under US ruleProsecution witnesses կողմից Proof of evidence held by federal prosecutors.

It: Jencks Act:18 of U.S. Code 3500 requires U.S. prosecutors to provide the criminal defendant with all previously copied statements made by any of the prosecution witnesses on topics the witness testified during the direct interrogation. If prosecutors fail to make such statements, the consequences can be severe. The present judge may strike at the testimony of a witness or allow a trial.

In addition, due process requires that prosecutors provide the criminal defendant with one justifying evidence under their control. We cannot ignore the fact that while most of the evidence the January 6 committee has likely to strongly accuse those suspected of plotting or instigating an attack on the US Capitol may have evidence that is favorable criminal defendant.

Providing the records of all witnesses տրամադր providing evidence is the only way to allow prosecutors to make legally required disclosures to the accused defendants.

If the January 6 commission does not take advantage of this opportunity to comply with a request from the Ministry of Justice, amnesty may be granted to those accused of insurgency, barring the prosecution from testifying. .

Anything other than full cooperation could undermine the prosecution of those who instigated the Capitol riot.

In fact, even if the board did not send its request, the exchange of all the protocols of this year should have been the priority of all the thoughts of the January 6 commission.

The potential to overturn any further criminal proceedings is not a far-fetched scenario. Something similar happened in the criminal case of the infamous My Lai massacre in Vietnam more than 50 years ago.

a The Federal Court of Appeal concluded the cruelty of what happened. “1968 “On March 16, 2008, in the small village of Mai Lai in South Vietnam, many unarmed, non-resistance Vietnamese civilians were hastily executed by American soldiers.”

Congress has launched an investigation into My Lai The subcommittee conducted an interview 152 witnesses, compiled 1812 pages of sworn testimony և collected 3045 pages of testimonies of witnesses. All testimonies were accepted in closed sessions. none of it was made public. The commission made a report.

During subsequent military trials of soldiers accused of killing in My Lai, defense attorneys demanded that Congress provide eyewitness testimony that prosecutors intended to summon to trial. The Congress rejected and canceled the announcements. Following the stoning of the Congress, the judges made the opposite decision.

Chief of Staff in the Military Court. Judge David Mitchell barred prosecutors from calling witnesses interviewed by a Congressional subcommittee. This verdict excluded five of the eight witnesses proposed by the prosecution. Mitchell was acquitted.

a Analysis of Yale Law Journal Mitchell’s case was recognized by the Congress authorities, according to: concealing evidenceto influence the results of criminal prosecution.

During the highly publicized trial for the assassination of Lieutenant William Callie, the judge ruled that Congress had no obligation to make statements. Prosecution witnesses were not blocked. It was Cally convicted of killing 22 civilians և Another crime.

Callie then filed a petition in federal court with the habeas corpus, arguing in part that Congress’ failure to provide witness testimony violates its right to a fair trial. The federal district court agreed that his conviction “constitutionally invalid»:

At the time, Daniel Kornstein, who wrote the analysis for the Yale Law Journal, wrote: The New York Times quoted a judge as saying that “Congress could have indirectly granted amnesty if it had refused to publish the subcommittee’s testimony.”

Later was Callie’s victory to reverse By the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. In: Contradictory opinionJudge Griffin Bell (who later became the U.S. Attorney General) concluded that the United States v. Brady’s case-law, which required prosecutors to release information in favor of a criminal defendant, should also apply to documents held by Congress.

The Supreme Court has not decided whether a defendant can be convicted when Congress withholds witness testimony or good evidence from a defendant. The Jan. 6 commission should not question whether the current Conservative Supreme Court could be on the side of anyone charged if the Republican-controlled Congress hides those documents. The commission should not negotiate halfway to respond to the request of the Ministry of Justice. Prosecutors now need all the evidence not only to establish whether the criminal charges are well-founded, but also to fulfill their legal obligations. The success of the subsequent prosecution of those prosecuted for inciting the Capitol Uprising depends on this.

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