House Republicans have begun “drafting a contempt of Congress resolution against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray” after what they say is a holdup of information regarding the Russia-Trump investigation and other matters, Bloomberg reports.
Prompting the move over the weekend by Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was a Washington Post report suggesting that top FBI official Peter Strzok’s removal from the investigation was because of his alleged exchange of anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton text messages with a lawyer working under Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.
“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,” Nunes said in a statement Saturday afternoon, as reported by the Washington Examiner.
“This is part of a months-long pattern by the DOJ and FBI of stonewalling and obstructing this committee’s oversight work, particularly oversight of their use of the Steele dossier. At this point, these agencies should be investigating themselves.”
President Donald Trump on Sunday wrote on Twitter in response to the report, “Now it all starts to make sense!” The FBI’s reputation, he claimed earlier that morning, “is in Tatters.”
U.S. Department of Justice spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores later issued a statement disputing Nunes’s characterization of the matter:
The Department has already provided members of [the House Intelligence Committee] and House leadership with several hundred pages of classified documents and multiple briefings — including for example clear answers as to whether any FBI payments were made to a source in question related to the dossier — and has more recently cleared key witnesses they have requested to testify, including Mr. McCabe, Mr. Strzok, and the alleged handler in question.
Democrats in the House Intelligence Committee, meanwhile, are accusing Nunes and other Republicans of shifting attention away from possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.