FBI slow-walking document requests from House Judiciary Committee
The House Judiciary Committee made a request for documents from the FBI months ago on several politically charged investigations and have been stymied by the bureau's obvious reluctance to comply with the request.
So Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte issued a subpoena to the bureau to hand over all documents relating to the Clinton email investigation, the potential abuse of FISA warrants, and the firing of deputy director Andrew McCabe.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has apparently grown angry over the FBI's slow-walking of documents and has called FBI Director Wray on the carpet.
Sure enough, on Tuesday, Wray issued a press release promising to double the number of people working on the document request. From Wray:As the Director of the FBI, I am committed to ensuring that the Bureau is being transparent and responsive to legitimate congressional requests. Up until today, we have dedicated 27 FBI staff to review the records that are potentially responsive to Chairman Goodlatte's requests. The actual number of documents responsive to this request is likely in the thousands. Regardless, I agree that the current pace of production is too slow. Accordingly, I am doubling the number of assigned FBI staff, for a total of 54, to cover two shifts per day from 8 a.m. to midnight to expedite completion of this project.Wray's announcement was welcome news to members of the House committee. Welcome — but still cautiously received.
"Obviously that's a good sign, but I'll believe it when I see it," Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a member of the committee who has been pursuing the issue, said in an interview Tuesday evening. "But as important as getting documents to us in a much more timely fashion is, are they going to be redacted? We know in the past that documents we have received have been redacted so much that we can't figure them out."
In recent days Jordan and Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chairman of the House Oversight Committee's subcommittee on government operations, have been sending staff to the Justice Department to view less redacted copies of key documents in the various investigations under review. The presence of those congressional investigators sent a clear message to the Justice Department that the House was not going to give up.
Now, the Justice Department is promising to do better — and the attorney general has signaled that he is not happy with the FBI director's performance. Now, lawmakers will wait to see what that means.
I find it fascinating that the FBI slow walked documents during the Obama administration and is now doing the same during the Trump administration. Gee...you'd think they were showing some kind of partisan bias, eh?
I don't think the Judiciary Committee can squeeze much more information from the Clinton email investigation, although who knows? The the abuse of the FISA warrant process as well as how the Office of Professional Responsibility came to their decision to have Andrew McCabe fired should be fertile ground for investigation.
FBI credibility is at the lowest point I can ever remember. Their delayed response to congressional request for documents isn't helping any.