The House passed a resolution on Thursday demanding that the Department of Justice (DOJ) hand over a trove of sensitive documents related to the FBI’s investigations into both Hillary Clinton’s email probe and the Russia investigation.
The floor vote passed 226-183, representing a further escalation in an ongoing feud between Congressional investigators and the DOJ. The demand sets a July 6 deadline for outstanding materials, which Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) said on Wednesday that failure to comply could result in holding Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in contempt, or even impeachment.
Moments before the resolution was passed, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein traded barbs in a fiery exchange during Congressional testimony – with Jordan accusing Rosenstein of keeping information from Congress.
“I am not keeping any information from Congress,” Rostenstein insisted, before being cut off.
“In a few minutes, Mr. Rosenstein, I think the House of Representatives is gonna say something different,” Jordan fired back.
“I don’t agree with you … If they do, they will be mistaken,” replied Rosenstein.
Rosenstein then launched into Jordan – defending redactions in various documents, and said “the use of this to attack me personally, is deeply wrong,” adding “I’m telling the truth and I’m under oath.”
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. –Washington Examiner
“[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. “Most requests have been fulfilled and other document productions are in progress for this committee and other committees.”
In a Wednesday letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan made public on Thursday, Rosenstein insisted that the House resolution “fails to acknowledge the extraordinary – and unprecedented – efforts that Trump Administration officials and other Department 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 Department employees are working tirelessly to produce documents to your Members,” wrote Rosenstein.
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