‘It’s not going to be pretty’: Congress-DOJ showdown this week

by WorldTribune Staff, June 26, 2018

Lawmakers on two House committees are threatening punitive action against Department of Justice and FBI officials this week.

At issue are allegations of anti-Trump bias in the FBI, the agency’s mishandling of the Trump-Russia investigation, and the continued failure by the DOJ and FBI to release subpoenaed documents.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray are set to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on June 28.

FBI Director Christopher Wray, left, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will testify before the House Judiciary Committee on June 28.

Rosenstein and Wray are expected to testify on “findings contained in the Justice Department Inspector General’s report about various actions taken by the Justice Department and FBI in 2016, as well as regarding the Committee’s oversight investigation into these matters,” investigative journalist Sara Carter reported on June 25.

FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok is set to testify on June 27 – behind closed doors – before the House Judiciary Committee. Strzok led the investigation into alleged Trump-Russia collusion in the 2016 campaign before he was removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team for anti-Trump emails he exchanged with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom Strzok was romantically involved.

Meanwhile, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and other lawmakers were not expecting Rosenstein to comply with the deadline to turn over documents related to the FBI’s investigation into its handling of the Russia investigation.

On June 17, Nunes said there would be “hell to pay” if the FBI and DOJ continue to refuse the release of subpoenaed documents:

“But I can tell you that it’s not going to be pretty,” Nunes said. “We can hold in contempt. We can pass sense of Congress resolutions. We can impeach. And, look, and I think we’re getting close to there, right? I mean, if they don’t have good reasons why they haven’t provided us this information, the American people’s patience has run out. My patience has run out.”

On June 22, the FBI sent two letters – a classified and a non-classified –  to the House Intelligence Committee, but Nunes said the letters “raised more questions than answers.”

“These questions include whether the FBI and Department of Justice leadership intend to obey the law and fully comply with duly authorized congressional subpoenas,” a letter sent by Nunes on June 24 to the DOJ stated.

In his letter to Rosenstein, Nunes asked: “Who- you or Director Wray – is responsible for compliance with the Committee’s subpoenas and requests that have been issued to the DOJ, including the FBI?”

Nunes also wanted to know: “Did the FBI use informants against members or associates of the Trump campaign and if so, how many informants were used and how much money was spent on their activities?”

A congressional official told Carter that lawmakers will have “three main hammers to get the DOJ to comply: impeachment proceedings, contempt, or taking the DOJ to court. The discussion now is which one of these we will move on, but everyone is frankly, exhausted by the DOJ’s failure to comply.”

Rep. Mark Meadows, North Carolina Republican, noted that House Speaker Paul Ryan “made a promise” last week, that if the FBI and DOJ didn’t turn over all of the requested information by June 22, “we would see floor action this week. I’m waiting for him to follow through on that commitment.”


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