Mon, Dec 04, 2017 - Page 1 News List

House Republicans prepare action against FBI, DOJ

Bloomberg

US House of Representatives Republicans on Saturday said they are drafting a contempt of US Congress resolution against US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray, claiming stonewalling in producing material in the Russia-Trump probes and other matters.

“Unless all our outstanding demands are fully met by close of business on Monday, December 4, 2017, the committee will have the opportunity to move this resolution before the end of the month,” House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes said in a statement.

The contempt action has been under consideration by Nunes and other Intelligence Committee Republicans for several weeks.

It is now moving forward after press reports on Saturday about why a top FBI official assigned to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russia-Trump campaign election collusion had been removed from the investigation.

In his statement, Nunes pointed to those reports that the official, Peter Strzok, was removed after allegedly exchanging anti-US President Trump and pro-Hillary Rodham Clinton text messages with his mistress, who was an FBI lawyer working for FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Until now, said Nunes, the FBI and US Department of Justice (DOJ) have failed to sufficiently comply with an Aug. 24 committee subpoena — including by specifically refusing repeated demands “for an explanation of Peter Strzok’s dismissal from the Mueller probe.”

“In light of today’s press reports, we now know why Strzok was dismissed, why the FBI and DOJ refused to provide us this explanation, and at least one reason why they previously refused to make Deputy Director McCabe available to the Committee for an interview,” Nunes said.

“By hiding from Congress, and from the American people, documented political bias by a key FBI head investigator for both the Russia collusion probe and the Clinton e-mail investigation, the FBI and DOJ engaged in a willful attempt to thwart Congress’ constitutional oversight responsibility,” he said.

Nunes went on in his statement to say this has been part of “a months-long pattern by the DOJ and FBI of stonewalling and obstructing this committee’s oversight work,” including also withholding subpoenaed information about their use of an opposition research dossier that targeted Trump in last year’s election.

The dossier was paid for in part by the Democratic National Committee and then-Democratic presidential candidate Clinton through a law firm.

Nunes and other committee Republicans say they want to investigate whether the DOJ and FBI might have improperly relied on the dossier to kick-start federal surveillance that Trump associates were caught up in.

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