U.S. House Republicans are moving to bring a Contempt of Congress resolution against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray for stonewalling the production of material related to the Russia-Trump probes and other matters.
According to Bloomberg, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes and other Republicans decided to move against Rosenstein and Wray after the New York Times reported Saturday that a top FBI official assigned to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of the alleged Russia-Trump election collusion had been removed from the investigation.
My colleague streiff has reported on how the entire probe into Russian meddling has been politically motivated. As streiff reports, Nunes points to reports that the FBI official, Peter Strzok, was removed after allegedly having exchanged anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton text messages with his mistress, who was an FBI lawyer working for Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. Strzok was also a middle man in the FBI’s involvement in the infamous Fusion GPS dossier.
Bloomberg reports Nunes said the FBI and Department of Justice have failed to sufficiently comply with an Aug. 24 committee subpoena — including by 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 email investigation, the FBI and DOJ engaged in a willful attempt to thwart Congress’ constitutional oversight responsibility,” he said.
Nunes, in the statement, said the committee will move on a resolution by the end of the month unless it demands are “fully met” by the close of business Dec. 4.
He cited “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 the 2016 election.
The dossier, which included unproven salacious allegations about President Trump, was paid for in part by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s Campaign. Republicans want to investigate whether the Justice Department and FBI improperly relied on the dossier to kick-start federal surveillance that caught up Trump associates, without independently confirming the information they used to justify such spying.