DOJ Gives Congress Classified Documents06/23 11:20
The Justice Department says it has given House Republicans new classified
information related to the Russia investigation after they had threatened to
hold officials in contempt of Congress or even impeach them.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Justice Department says it has given House
Republicans new classified information related to the Russia investigation
after they had threatened to hold officials in contempt of Congress or even
A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan says the department has partially
complied with multiple requests from the House Intelligence and Judiciary
committees. House Republicans had given the department a Friday deadline for
all documents, but Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said the department asked for
"Our efforts have resulted in the committees finally getting access to
information that was sought months ago, but some important requests remain to
be completed," Strong said in a statement Saturday. "Additional time has been
requested for the outstanding items, and based on our understanding of the
process we believe that request is reasonable. We expect the department to meet
its full obligations to the two committees."
In a letter sent to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes late
Friday, the Justice Department said it had that day provided a classified
letter to his panel regarding whether the FBI used "confidential human sources"
before it officially began its Russia investigation in 2016. Nunes has been
pressing the department on an informant who spoke to members of President
Donald Trump's campaign as the FBI began to explore the campaign's ties to
The department has already given top lawmakers in the House and Senate three
classified briefings on the informant. But Nunes has said he wanted the entire
committee to receive the information.
In the letter, the Justice Department's acting assistant director of
congressional affairs, Jill Tyson, said the department had also given Nunes
materials related to oversight of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Republicans have for months questioned whether the department abused that act
when prosecutors and agents in 2016 applied for and received a secret warrant
to monitor the communications of a Trump campaign associate.
Democrats have criticized the multiple document requests, charging that they
are intended to discredit the department and discredit or even undermine
special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's Russia
ties and whether there was obstruction of justice.
House Speaker Paul Ryan has backed the document requests, and he led a
meeting last week with committee chairmen and Deputy Attorney General Rod
Rosenstein to try to resolve the issue. In a television interview two days
after that meeting, on June 17, Nunes said if they don't get the documents by
this week, "there's going to be hell to pay" and indicated the House could act
on contempt or even impeachment. A spokesman for Nunes did not immediately
respond to a request for comment Saturday.
Tyson also wrote House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte, who
had subpoenaed the department for documents related to the Russia investigation
and also the department's investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails in 2016.
She detailed progress on those requests and said the department is
"expeditiously completing them."
In the letters, Tyson said the department had built "new tools" to search
top secret documents and had diverted resources from other congressional