After months of stonewalling, the Department of Justice has officially denied the House Freedom Caucus’ request to view Robert Mueller’s memo, which details the scope and duration of the Russia probe.
This lack of transparency clearly shows they’re hiding something big.
From Washington Examiner
The Department of Justice sent a letter to the leaders of the House Freedom Caucus on Monday declining their request to see the unredacted version of a memo detailing the scope of the special counsel’s Russia probe.
In the letter, obtained by the Washington Examiner, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd writes: “Although we are working to accommodate the requests of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in a number of oversight matters, we cannot provide the requested information pertaining to the Special Counsel’s ongoing investigation consistent with longstanding principles of investigatory independence.”
Turning over the unredacted memo would “threaten the integrity” of Mueller’s investigation, the letter reads.
It would also violate Justice Department policy of “against confirming or denying information about active investigations,” wrote Boyd.
Trump-aligned Reps. Mark Meadows, of North Carolina, and Jim Jordan, of Ohio, told Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein last month in a private meeting that they wanted to see the unredacted version of the August 2017 memo that details the scope of Robert Mueller’s investigation, CNN reported late Tuesday.
The heavily-redacted and classified August 2, 2017, memo signed by Rosenstein was made public in April in court filings as part of Mueller’s ongoing criminal case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
In the memo, Rosenstein empowers Mueller to investigate allegations that Manafort “committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials” to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
The request from Meadows and Jordan — and subsequent denial by the Justice Department — adds new fuel Republican lawmakers’ accusations that the department is stonewalling its numerous requests for documents.
But on Tuesday, Rosenstein — a Republican who was handpicked by Trump — sent a message the Congress that he will adhere to the rule of law when it comes to demands.
“There have been people who have been making threats privately and publicly against me for quite some time and I think they should understand by now the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted,” he said at an event in Washington.
In response, Meadows tweeted : “If he believes being asked to do his job is ‘extortion,’ then Rod Rosenstein should step aside and allow us to find a new Deputy Attorney General — preferably one who is interested in transparency.”
The Washington Post reported this week Meadows and the House Freedom Caucus had drafted articles of impeachment against Rosenstein.
Earlier Wednesday, Trump threatened to “get involved” in in facilitating the turning over of documents to Congress.
“A Rigged System – They don’t want to turn over Documents to Congress,” Trump tweeted . “What are they afraid of? Why so much redacting? Why such unequal ‘justice?’ At some point I will have no choice but to use the powers granted to the Presidency and get involved!”
Trump did not describe which committee requests he was referring to, though there have been numerous requests in the last few months.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., issued a subpoena to the Justice Department in March, seeking various documents, including on the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and alleged abuse of surveillance powers during the 2016 election.
The Justice Department missed Goodlatte’s subpoena deadline in early April, and Trump railed against the department on Twitter , accusing them of “slow walking.”
At the time, a Republican House Judiciary Committee aide told the Washington Examiner that they were working with the Justice Department to take “immediate steps to comply with the subpoena and produce documents to the Committee.”
The Justice Department last month did turn over a document requested by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, who had wanted to see the document he said prompted the FBI’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
In a statement on the deadline, April 11, Nunes thanked Rosenstein, but warned his committee’s subpoenas from last year “remain in effect.”
The Intelligence Committee subpoenaed the FBI on Aug. 24, 2017 for a broad range of documents, including the two-page originating document, commonly called the Electronic Communication, or EC.