GOP Rep. Jim Jordan, a high-ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, told Fox News that Chairman Bob Goodlatte had committed to issuing subpoenas to top FBI and Justice Department officials to investigate bias in the Russian collusion probe.
Republicans have zeroed in on deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, top counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, FBI attorney Lisa Page, former associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr and his wife Nellie, who reportedly worked for Fusion GPS, the firm that compiled opposition research on Trump in 2016.
“Chairman Goodlatte has told us he is going to subpoena those individuals,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), in an appearance on Fox News’ “Justice with Judge Jeanine.”
Goodlatte’s office declined comment earlier this week when asked if he was considering issuing subpoenas to those agents.
Democrats don’t see the need to investigate the investigators:
Democrats have dismissed the complaints as a sideshow, noting that FBI agents are expressly permitted to have political views, so long as they don’t act on them to taint investigations. So far, they say, no evidence has shown Strzok or Page took any actions based on their dislike of Trump. Their texts also revealed disdain for other political figures on both sides of the aisle.
Strzok was a key figure in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email use and was tapped in the spring to join Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Mueller dropped him from the probe over the summer after learning of the texts.
If Strzok’s biased views on Trump don’t matter, why did Mueller demote him?
The subpoenas may be the prelude to a Republican call for a special prosecutor to investigate the bias in Mueller’s outfit. And while they’re at it, why not appoint other special counsels to investigate the Clinton email scandal, Uranium One, and the Clinton Foundation?
Several stories broken by Fox have energized the investigate-the-investigators movement. One Fox story points to the connections between Fusion GPS and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr and spouse, Nellie Ohr, connections the critics say taint the whole case against the president. Ohr was demoted last week, Fox implied, for meeting with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and Christopher Steele (author of the Simpson-commissioned dossier) just after the 2016 election. Nellie Ohr, Fox continues, worked for Fusion GPS during the campaign and, in the eyes of Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow, this cross-pollination constitutes “obvious conflicts of interest.” Sekulow demands a second special counsel to look into the matter. His call follows the November news about Attorney General Jeff Sessions contemplating a second special counsel to look into the Clinton Foundation’s connections with Uranium One, the pseudo-scandal that has replaced Benghazi among Hillary-haters.
Earlier this month, Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., tweeted a similar message: “It’s long past time for a Special Counsel to investigate Clinton email scandal, Uranium One, role of Fusion GPS, and FBI and DOJ bias during 2016 campaign.” In his Washington Post column, conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt has called for an additional special counsel to delve into the words and deeds of FBI agent Peter Strzok, sacked from the Mueller team last summer after the discovery of anti-Trump text messages he sent to another Mueller team member (and which the Department of Justice, in a controversial move, shared with reporters). Did Strzok “tilt” the investigation? Hewitt asks. “It’s time for Mueller to put up or shut up. If there’s evidence of collusion with Russia, let’s see it,” said
Former Slate writer Jack Schafer apparently wants us to take the word of Mueller and the other investigators that they did not allow their bias to seep into their investigation. No need to investigate. They told us they were honest, upright, forthright and open — and not a pinch of bias leaked into their work.
Move along. Nothing to see here.
It could end up that Mueller and his folks are clean and no bias has penetrated the probe into Russian collusion. Fine. But not to investigate when we’re talking about overturning a legitimate election and impeaching a president is idiotic. In fact, not supporting an investigation into these claims is evidence of partisanship and bias in the first place.