Over the last few months, several members of Congress have expressed frustration over the Justice Department’s refusal to cooperate with their attempts to investigate the Trump campaign’s connections with Russia.
Last week, the House Intelligence Committee issued several subpoenas to the Justice Department after their requests for information were ignored. About the department’s unwillingness to comply with the committee’s requests, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said:
‘I’m sure you’re noting with the same irony I’m noting the difficulty that a Republican Congress is having getting information from a Department of Justice run by Jeff Sessions.’
The House Intelligence Committee is not the only committee struggling to get information from the Justice Department, either.
On Wednesday, CNN revealed that the department is also blocking Senate investigators from interviewing top FBI officials who may have information about the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
Two unnamed sources told CNN that Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein have repeatedly asked two senior FBI officials — Carl Ghattas and James Rybicki — to sit down for a transcribed interview to discuss Comey’s firing. However, the Justice Department has declined.
In a letter signed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Samuel Ramer, the department cited “the appointment of Robert S. Mueller III to serve” as special counsel and “related matters” as excuses for declining the interviews.
‘Under these circumstances and consistent with the Department’s long-standing policy regarding the confidentiality and sensitivity of information relating to pending matters, the Department cannot make Mr. Ghattas nor Mr. Rybicki available for transcribed interviews at this time.’