Dec. 29 (UPI) — Two outgoing senior House Republicans Friday called for a continued investigation into the FBI and Justice Department’s handling of the Russia investigation and Hillary Clinton’s emails while renewing a request for a second independent counsel.
In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and the Justice Department’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz, U.S. Reps. Bob Goodlatte and Trey Gowdy encouraged federal law enforcement leaders to “investigate these matters, consistent with your jurisdiction, so the final definitive accounting can be made to the American people.”
While the letter signaled an end to the House investigation into the handling of Clinton’s emails and Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, Goodlatte, the outgoing chair of the House judiciary committee, and Gowdy, the House oversight committee chair, charged that their work was stymied.
“Regrettably, our joint investigation was impacted by institutional protectionism on the part of the DOJ and FBI,” Goodlatte and Gowdy wrote. “For example, the agencies delayed the production of relevant documents and failed to provide witnesses in a timely manner.
“DOJ continues to refuse to declassify documents necessary to the investigation despite the President’s request [that] the documents be declassified,” the letter continued.
The Democrats take over House leadership in January and have long been critical of the Republicans investigating the FBI. They charged that Republicans were doing the bidding of the president to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
“Our Republican colleagues seem intent on spending their final days in power attempting to provide cover to President Trump and attempting to re-litigate the Department of Justice’s decision not to prosecute Secretary Clinton,” Reps. Jerry Nadler and Elijah Cummings said in a statement earlier this month after former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony to a House committee, CNN reported.
Gowdy and Goodlatte denied their investigation was an attempt to undermine Mueller.
“Quite the opposite, whatever product is produced by the special counsel must be trusted by Americans that requires asking tough but fair questions about investigative techniques both employed and not employed,” the letter said.