Report: House Intelligence Committee to Begin Writing Contempt Resolution for FBI, DOJ Officials

Comey pointing at himself
Carolyn Kaster/AP

The House intelligence committee will begin writing a resolution Tuesday to cite top FBI and Justice Department officials in contempt of Congress after they missed a Monday deadline to turn over documents the committee subpoenaed in late August, according to the Washington Examiner.

The tipping point came after information the committee had been seeking for months was leaked to the New York Times and the Washington Post during the weekend.

Those stories revealed that top FBI agent Peter Strzok was removed from the special counsel’s Russia probe after he exchanged critical text messages about President Trump with another FBI agent with whom he was having an extramarital affair.

The committee asked months ago why the FBI removed Strzok but were never told the reason.

House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), who removed himself from leading the committee’s own Russia probe but not from the investigation, accused the FBI and the Justice Department of stonewalling and obstructing the committee’s oversight work.

The FBI and the DOJ have also been stonewalling the committee on documents related to the Trump dossier that are expected to provide key details about the FBI’s involvement with the dossier.

The committee has been seeking answers on whether the FBI used the dossier to obtain surveillance warrants against members of the Trump campaign to launch the FBI’s investigation, or ever paid dossier author Christopher Steele.

On Saturday, Nunes threatened to draft a citation for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray if they did not turn over information by the close of business on Monday.

The FBI and Justice Department then agreed to make some officials available, including Strzok and Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, but still did not turn over requested documents to the committee.

Committee aides will start writing the contempt resolution Tuesday, but there is no date set for the panel to consider it, according to the Examiner. If approved by the committee, it would go to the House, where Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) would have to present it for a vote.

The House voted in 2012 to hold then-U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for withholding documents on the Justice Department’s “Fast and Furious” operation. The Justice Department elected not to prosecute Holder.


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