Trey Gowdy: GOP will hit DOJ, FBI with ‘full arsenal’ to get documents
by Kelly Cohen
| June 17, 2018 11:20 AM
House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy said that House Speaker Paul Ryan led a meeting with senior Justice Department and FBI officials Friday, and claimed he “made it very clear” the House will use “its full arsenal of constitutional weapons to gain compliance” on outstanding subpoenas.
Gowdy, R-S.C., said on “Fox News Sunday” that Republican lawmakers’ actions could involve "the full panoply of constitutional weapons available to the people’s house."
However, it was not immediately clear which subpoenas or requests Gowdy was referencing.
In March, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte subpoenaed the Justice Department to obtain documents related to the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server, potential surveillance abuses, and the decision to fire former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
The request totals roughly 1.2 million documents.
However, that subpoena is already being handled: FBI Director Christopher Wray announced in late March that he was assigning 54 FBI staffers to oversee the request, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions then tapped the U.S. attorney in Chicago, John Lausch, in April to oversee the production of troves of documents to Goodlatte.
"Under the heading of minor miracles, you had members of the House working on a Friday night," Gowdy said. "Paul Ryan led this meeting. You had [House Intelligence Committee Chairman] Devin Nunes, Bob Goodlatte, myself and everyone you can think of from the FBI and the DOJ, and we went item by item on both of those outstanding subpoenas.
He added: “And Paul made it very clear; there’s going to be action on the floor of the House this week if the FBI and DOJ do not comply with our subpoena request. So [Deputy Attorney General] Rod Rosenstein, Chris Wray, you were in the meeting, you understood him just as clearly as I did. We’re going to get compliance or the House of Representatives is going to use its full arsenal of constitutional weapons to gain compliance."
“I don’t want the drama,” Gowdy said , adding that contempt of Congress is on the table. “I want the documents.”
Separately, Gowdy has pushed the Justice Department for classified documents and information related to the Russia investigation alongside Nunes.
On Thursday, Gowdy, Nunes, and other lawmakers were part of a second briefing regarding allegations that a "spy" was sent to the Trump campaign — a back-and-forth between the Justice Department, the FBI, and Trump-aligned lawmakers that has lasted weeks.
Thursday’s briefing was a follow-up to one given in late May.
A Justice Department official told the Washington Examiner that the briefing Thursday was a way for lawmakers to get answers to the questions they asked on May 24.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said Democrats stand by their previous conclusion that there is "no evidence" to support President Trump's allegation that the FBI or any intelligence agency placed a "spy" in his campaign. “None of our conclusions have changed," said Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Nunes said on "Sunday Morning Futures" with Maria Bartiromo that the process is moving forward.
"We're supposed to meet on Monday. Our staffs are supposed to meet on Monday. And all the subpoenas supposed are supposed to be complied with this week," said the California Republican.
But Nunes was skeptical that he would see the DOJ and the FBI would comply with his demands.
"Now, I'm not sure. My confidence level is extremely low that DOJ and FBI are going to comply. I don't have a lot of confidence," Nunes said. "However, it was good that the speaker of the House was there and the other two committee chairmen to make sure the FBI and DOJ know they've been put on notice, that we're won't take no for an answer anymore and the subpoenas will be complied with."
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