by WorldTribune Staff, May 6, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be held in contempt of Congress if the Department of Justice continues to refuse to produce classified information the House Intelligence Committee has demanded, committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes said.
Nunes, California Republican, said the committee sent a classified letter to Sessions two weeks ago and “per usual it was ignored… last week we sent a subpoena and we got a letter stating they are not going to comply with our subpoena on very important information that we need.”
“The only thing left that we can do is we have to move quickly to hold the Attorney General of the United States in contempt and that’s what I’m going to press for this week,” Nunes said.
The Department of Justice, in a letter to Nunes on May 3, said the chairman had asked for information on a specific individual, not yet named and considered by DOJ to be a very valuable person for a counterintelligence operation, investigative journalist Sara Carter reported.
“Disclosure of responsive information to such requests can risk severe consequences, including potential loss of human lives, damage to relationships with valued international partners, compromise of ongoing criminal investigations, and interference with intelligence activities,” stated the letter from Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd.
Nunes responded by warning Sessions against ignoring deadlines requested by Congress. Nunes also referred to comments lambasting special counsel Robert Mueller by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, who said “we don’t want anyone in this country with unfettered power.”
In her report, Carter noted that “according to Congressional sources the information requested is necessary for the committee to conduct its review and the constant battles with the DOJ and FBI hamper their ability to do sufficient oversight.”
Boyd stated that Nunes’ request had been reviewed by all agencies, including the White House.
“After careful evaluation and following consultations with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the White House, the Department has determined that, consistent with applicable law and longstanding Executive Branch policy, it is not in a position to provide the information responsive to your request regarding a specific individual,” Boyd states in the May 3 letter.