In response to former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate on Thursday, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) has written to the Judiciary Committee’s chairman, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and demanded an investigation into “all issues that raise a question of obstruction of justice.”
In her letter, Feinstein explained that she was troubled by many elements of Comey’s testimony, particularly those that suggest President Trump is potentially guilty of obstruction. For example, the fact that Trump allegedly asked Comey to pledge his loyalty to him, and the fact that he asked Comey to drop the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
At the beginning of her letter to Grassley, Feinstein wrote:
‘As a member of both the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, I see firsthand the distinction between the legal and counterintelligence aspects presented by Director Comey’s testimony this week. It is my strong recommendation that the Judiciary Committee investigate all issues that raise a question of obstruction of justice. These issues should be developed by our legal staff, presented to us, and be subject to full Committee hearings.’
She then added that she is concerned by the lack of cooperation that has thus far been displayed by certain intelligence officials.
‘I am also concerned by the refusal of DNI Director Coats and NSA Director Admiral Rogers to answer questions posed by Senators. As I have mentioned to you directly, I am supportive of issuing subpoenas in those cases where we do not receive cooperation.’
Towards the end of her letter, Feinstein also outlined the steps she believes the Judiciary Committee should take moving forward with the investigation, which include the following:
- Hearing from the witnesses identified by Mr. Comey during the June 8 hearing.
- Learning whether the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General knew of Director Comey’s concerns when they discussed his termination with the president.
- Understanding whether the president asked DNI Director Coats or NSA Director Rogers to take any action with regard to the investigation.
- Obtaining additional information from the White House.
Feinstein shared a link to her letter on Twitter shortly after sending it.
I believe the Judiciary Committee should investigate all issues that raise a question of obstruction of justice. https://t.co/d8xfYi5XQC
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) June 9, 2017
Less than an hour after posting the tweet, one of Feinstein’s colleagues, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) quickly expressed his support for her argument. Leahy retweeted Feinstein’s letter, along with the following message:
‘I couldn’t agree more with @SenFeinstein. The American people deserve answers.’
— Sen. Patrick Leahy (@SenatorLeahy) June 9, 2017
Feinstein already has one Senate Democrat behind her, and others will surely follow. Hopefully, Grassley will seriously consider their concerns.
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.