House Intel Committee Mulls Contempt Citations Against FBI, DOJ
After months of FBI and Justice Department stonewalling, the president and House Republicans are losing patience. Frustrated with the open defiance of the deep state, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee is now considering contempt of Congress citations against the two agencies.
Congressional investigators say the FBI and DOJ have been withholding key documents and an FBI witness (!) that could reveal whether U.S. officials under then-President Barack Obama relied on the unverified and salacious anti-Trump dossier to justify the surveillance and unmasking of associates of Donald Trump.
According to an internal House memo obtained by Fox News, a senior counsel for the House Intelligence Committee urged Chairman Devin Nunes to pursue the contempt citations three weeks ago.
“We're trying to work with DOJ and the FBI. We hope that they will comply, but if they don't they leave us very little option, very few options,” Nunes, R-Calif., told Fox News. Republicans on the committee sent subpoenas out in June, July, and August “that still haven't been complied with,” Nunes said, adding, “so I think stonewalling would be putting it lightly.”
The dossier is a hodgepodge of salacious and mostly unverified allegations about Trump and his campaign based in part on Russian sourcing. The dossier was compiled by Fusion GPS, which calls itself a “research and strategic intelligence firm” but is well known in Washington to be an opposition research group for Democrats. The firm's founders have been described as "more political activists than journalists" and in 2016 had a clear pro-Hillary, anti-Trump agenda.
Fusion GPS hired Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer, to dig up dirt on Trump, using Russian sources that employed "standard Russian techniques of disinformation and manipulation," according to top Russia expert David Satter.
Bank records obtained by the House Intel panel recently revealed that the dossier was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). It was also recently discovered that Obama for America (OFA), a political group tied to the former president, paid nearly a million dollars to the same law firm used by the DNC and Hillary for America to funnel money to Fusion GPS.
According to Fox News, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has been "working behind the scenes to advance the case."
“We've had these document requests with the administration, with the FBI in particular, for a long time and they've been stonewalling,” Ryan said on Oct. 25.
Nunes’ counsel wrote in the internal memo: "After eight months of ongoing verbal, written, and subpoenaed requests -- and engagement by Committee and House leadership at the highest levels -- DOJ/FBI continues to impede the Committee's legitimate investigative efforts and hinders the Committee's ability to conduct effective oversight.”
The counsel also wrote: “Staff therefore recommends further congressional compliance actions” – which, according to sources, means contempt citations.
President Trump used his Twitter account to publicly urge the FBI and DOJ to comply with House panel's requests following Fox's report last night.
“The House of Representatives seeks contempt citations(?) against the JusticeDepartment and the FBI for withholding key documents and an FBI witness which could shed light on surveillance of associates of Donald Trump. Big stuff. Deep State. Give this information NOW!” he tweeted.
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton added his two cents:
A D.C.-based Navy veteran created a gif book to explain why he thinks Trump should appoint a special counsel to root out the corruption and lawlessness in the deep state.