GOP Chairman To Subpoena DOJ Over Comey Memos

While a criminal referral has been sent to the DOJ for James Comey, Hillary Clinton and others involved in the 2016 US presidential election, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) is expected to subpoena the Department of Justice (DOJ) as early as this week in order to obtain copies of James Comey's memos - a major catalyst in the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel.

Chairman Goodlatte wants lawmakers to be able to review the seven memos Comey created allegedly documenting his interactions with President Trump, according to two people familiar with the matter in comments to The Hill

The chairman on Wednesday notified the ranking Democrat, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), that a subpoena is forthcoming. Under Judiciary committee rules, the chairman must consult the ranking member two business days “before issuing any subpoena” — suggesting that the move is imminent.

The order comes after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein asked three powerful House lawmakers — Goodlatte, Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) — to give him extra time to consult with the "relevant parties" on whether he can make the memos available to them.

On Monday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told lawmakers that the Comey memos may be related to an "ongoing investigation," as well as "report confidential presidential communications," which means they have a "legal duty to evaluate the consequences of providing access to them." 

In other words, Rosenstein is stalling...

Rep. Nadler said in a statement that he welcomes the opportunity to take a look at the memos, though described the GOP's imminent subpoena as political "theater" which may interfere or undermine Mueller's probe. 

"The Comey memos are key to the Special Counsel’s work. Pursuant to long-standing Department policy and absent any satisfactory accommodation, the Department of Justice cannot simply hand over evidence that is part of an ongoing criminal investigation," Nadler said.

If House Republicans refuse any accommodation short of the Department of Justice handing over custody of these documents  —which it cannot do — I fear the Majority will have manufactured an excuse to hold the Deputy Attorney General in contempt of Congress. If they succeed in tarnishing the Deputy Attorney General, perhaps they will have given President Trump the pretext he has sought to replace Mr. Rosenstein with someone willing to do his bidding and end the Special Counsel’s investigation," he added.

In other words, Nadler is stalling too...

In a Monday response from Rosenstein, the Deputy AG referenced a 77-year-old opinion of Attorney General Robert Jackson who wrote "all investigative reports are confidential documents of the executive department and that congressional and public access thereto would not be in the public interest," while pointing to a long list of his predecessors who agreed. 

"Investigative reports include leads and suspicions, and sometimes even the statements of malicious or misinformed people. Even though later and more complete reports exonerate the individuals, the use of particular or selected reports might constitute the grossest injustice, and we all know that a correction never catches up with an accusation,” Jackson argued at the time.

Rosenstein is really working hard to prevent the release of the Comey memos - which Comey leaked to the New York Times through friend and Columbia Law Professor, Daniel Richman.

Why is the Deputy Attorney General of the United States trying to delay Congress from seeing a pivotal document in the decision to launch a special counsel investigation on a sitting president?