by WorldTribune Staff, September 24, 2017
The FBI and Justice Department have, for the third time, missed a deadline to deliver subpoenaed documents related to the discredited Trump dossier to the House Intelligence Committee.
Sen. Chuck Grassley and the House Intelligence Committee want to know if the FBI ever used what former FBI Director James Comey described as the “salacious and unverified” dossier compiled by ex-British spy Christopher Steele as a basis for requesting surveillance on anyone on President Donald Trump’s team.
“Those questions only intensified with reports that the FBI wiretapped Trump associate and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort during the transition period,” columnist Byron York wrote for the Washington Examiner on Sept. 22.
On Aug. 24, the House Intelligence Committee subpoenaed the FBI and Justice Department, seeking all internal FBI reports “incorporating, relying on, or referring to” information provided by Steele, his sources, or Fusion GPS, the firm that funded the dossier.
Related: Reports: Wiretapping of Manafort based on discredited Russian dossier, Sept. 19, 2017
The committee also asked for documents on any FBI or Justice “efforts to corroborate, validate, or evaluate” Steele’s information. And the subpoena sought any surveillance applications that included any information or were based on any information, provided by Steele, York noted.
“Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes originally set a Sept. 1 deadline for production of the dossier documents,” York wrote. “The FBI did not comply. Nunes then extended the deadline to Sept. 14. The FBI did not comply. Then Nunes extended the deadline again, to Sept. 22. Now, again, the FBI has not complied.”
York wrote that “it seems likely that the dispute will eventually rise to a higher level. Nunes is a committee chairman, but he does not speak for the entire House. In addition, he has been weakened by Democratic accusations that he leaked classified information – a matter that seems stuck in the Ethics Committee.
Given that, if Nunes is to prevail in the subpoena affair, it seems likely he would have to have the support of Speaker Paul Ryan. If the speaker stands behind Nunes’ efforts, the subpoena will have more weight and be more difficult for the FBI and Justice to defy. If on the other hand, Ryan does not stand behind the chairman, the FBI and Justice might be emboldened to delay forever.”
York continued: “There’s a lot at stake. Nunes is currently traveling in the Middle East, so it is not clear what the next step will be, or when it will happen. But so far, the FBI and the Justice Department do not appear to be in the mood to comply with the subpoena.”