February 18, 2019

House passes resolution demanding DOJ hand over documents, escalating feud

By Kelly Cohen

A resolution demanding the Justice Department hand over a large swath of documents related to the FBI’s investigations into both Hillary Clinton’s private email and Russia was approved by the House — even as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told lawmakers the agencies have been making “unprecedented disclosures” to Congress.

The full floor vote, which passed 226-183, represents a further escalation in a monthslong feud over documents requests stemming from subpoenas from the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees — which was capped off with a contentious back-and-forth between Rep. Jim Jordan and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein moments before the resolution was passed.

Ahead of the vote, Jordan, R-Ohio, went directly at Rosenstein, alleging he has kept information from Congress.

“I am not keeping any information from Congress,” Rostenstein said about documents and redactions, before being cut off.

“In a few minutes, Mr. Rosenstein, I think the House of Representatives is gonna say something different,” Jordan shot back.

“I don’t agree with you … If they do, they will be mistaken,” replied Rosenstein.

Rosenstein defended redactions in any documents, calling “the use of this to attack me personally, is deeply wrong.”

“I’m telling the truth, and I’m under oath,” he said.

The demand sets a July 6 deadline for outstanding documents — and Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said Wednesday that failure to comply could result in holding Rosenstein in contempt, or even impeachment.

The House panels have been feuding with Rosenstein for months over the documents.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte said in his opening statement in a hearing with Rosenstein on Thursday that his panel’s oversight “has been hampered” by the Justice Department and FBI’s “lack of consistent and vigorous production” of documents.

“[I]t has felt like pulling teeth much of the time to obtain and review revenant documents,” said Goodlatte, R-Va.

“I understand some people still state concerns about the speed of the production, but those concerns are mistaken,” Rosenstein told Goodlatte during the Thursday hearing. “Most requests have been fulfilled, and other document productions are in progress for this committee and other committees.”

In a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday that was made public Thursday morning, Rosenstein said the resolution “fails to acknowledge the extraordinary – and unprecedented – efforts that Trump [a]dministration officials and other [d]epartment employees are making to comply with a considerable volume of oversight requests.”

“Movement on this resolution would be contrary to the spirit of accommodation that was present in our productive meeting with Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Chris Wray on June 15. Many [d]epartment employees are working tirelessly to produce documents to your Members,” wrote Rosenstein.

This article (House passes resolution demanding DOJ hand over documents, escalating feud) was originally published on Washington Examiner and syndicated by The Event Chronicle


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