The feud that has been simmering on a low boil for months between Congress and the Justice Department, has finally boiled over, erupting into a full-fledged cage match this week. Many people believe this could be the House Intelligence Committee is closing in and the noose is ever tightening.
Most recently, 11 members of Congress are now yet again sending a signed a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, FBI Director Chris Wray, and U.S. Attorney John Huber asking them, yet again to conduct a criminal investigation into multiple members of the Obama administration. The letter specifically demands a criminal investigation be launched into the conduct and actions of former FBI Director James Comey, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and anti-Trump FBI officials Peter Stzrok and Lisa Page.
Lawmakers wrote in a letter released by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) –
“In doing so, we are especially mindful of the dissimilar degrees of zealousness that has marked the investigations into Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the presidential campaign of Donald Trump. Those in positions of high authority should be treated the same as every other American.” the lawmakers stated while also insisting that any violations of law need to be “vetted appropriately.”
The lawmakers argue that Comey mishandled the criminal investigation into Hillary over her use of a private email server, claiming that the investigation was “motivated by a political agenda.”
Subpoenas and various demands for information continue to go back and forth and until this week, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and his subordinates at the department fought the continued Congressional demands for information with the tools of banal bureaucracy – resist, delay, ignore, negotiate.
Yet Rosenstein decided to kick it up a notch by recently accusing House Republicans of “threats,” extortion and wanting to “rummage” through department documents.
Meanwhile, the New York Times is dropping stories with the usual “anonymous sources” with new accusations claiming “Mr. Rosenstein and top FBI officials have come to suspect that some lawmakers were using their oversight authority to gain intelligence about [Special Counsel Bob Mueller’s ] investigation so that it could be shared with the White House.”
Yet clearly Rosenstein is not worried in the slightest about “rummaging” he is simply diverting attention from the Bureau’s concern with the exact opposite conversation in that the FBI is being required to comply with very specific and revealing, along with potentially damaging demands.
Justice Department was recently delivered first a classified House Intelligence Committee letter and then a subpoena demanding documents related to a new line of inquiry about the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Trump investigation. The deadline for complying with the subpoena was Thursday afternoon, and the Justice Department flouted it.
As the White House is undoubtedly monitoring any new congressional demands for information, it is likely that President Trump’s tweet Wednesday ripping the department for not turning over documents was in part a reference to this latest demand.
Memos from May 2017, show Rosenstein throwing Comey under the bus slamming Comey for making “serious mistakes” throughout the course of the investigation.
“Almost everyone agrees that the Director made serious mistakes; it is one of the few issues that unites people of diverse perspectives,” Rosenstein wrote. “The way (Comey) handled the conclusion of the email investigation was wrong.”
Yet Comey has thrown former President Obama and his Attorney General Loretta Lynch under the bus, claiming they “jeopardized” the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
In his book, A Higher Loyalty, Comey defends the FBI investigators who were charged with investigating Hillary’s private email server and her mishandling of classified information.
“I never heard anyone on our team — not one — take a position that seemed driven by their personal political motivations. And more than that: I never heard an argument or observation I thought came from a political bias. Never,” Comey writes in his book. “Instead we debated, argued, listened, reflected, agonized, played devil’s advocate, and even found opportunities to laugh as we hashed out major decisions.”
Letter from DeSantis & other lawmakers to Sessions, Wray and Huber referring Comey, Clinton, Lynch, McCabe, Lisa Page & Peter Strzok for investigation of potential violations of federal statutes. https://t.co/zNiZhHbYxr pic.twitter.com/aSwKpyeO2u
— Nick Short 🇺🇸 (@PoliticalShort) April 18, 2018
“Contributing to this problem, regrettably, was President Obama. He had jeopardized the Department of Justice’s credibility in the investigation by saying in a 60 Minutes interview on Oct. 11, 2015, that Clinton’s email use was “a mistake” that had not endangered national security. Then on Fox News on April 10, 2016, he said that Clinton may have been careless but did not do anything to intentionally harm national security, suggesting that the case involved overclassification of material in the government.
President Obama is a very smart man who understands the law very well. To this day, I don’t know why he spoke about the case publicly and seemed to absolve her before a final determination was made. If the president had already decided the matter, an outside observer could reasonably wonder, how on earth could his Department of Justice do anything other than follow his lead.”