Why The Justice Department Is Defiant

Authored by Kimberley Strassel, op-ed via The Wall Street Journal,

A House subpoena, another missed deadline. What is the department hiding?

The feud that has simmered for months between Congress and the Justice Department erupted this week into a cage match. That’s because the House is homing in on the goods.

Until this week, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and fellow institutionalists at the department had fought Congress’s demands for information with the tools of banal bureaucracy - resist, delay, ignore, negotiate. But Mr. Rosenstein took things to a new level on Tuesday, accusing House Republicans of “threats,” extortion and wanting to “rummage” through department documents. A Wednesday New York Times story then dropped a new slur, claiming “Mr. Rosenstein and top FBI officials have come to suspect that some lawmakers were using their oversight authority to gain intelligence about [Special Counsel Bob Mueller’s ] investigation so that it could be shared with the White House.”

Mr. Rosenstein isn’t worried about rummaging. That’s a diversion from the department’s opposite concern: that it is being asked to comply with very specific - potentially very revealing - demands. Two House sources confirm for me that the Justice Department was recently delivered first a classified House Intelligence Committee letter and then a subpoena (which arrived Monday) demanding documents related to a new line of inquiry about the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Trump investigation. The deadline for complying with the subpoena was Thursday afternoon, and the Justice Department flouted it. As the White House is undoubtedly monitoring any new congressional demands for information, it is likely that President Trump’s tweet Wednesday ripping the department for not turning over documents was in part a reference to this latest demand.

Republicans also demand the FBI drop any objections to declassifying a section of the recently issued House Intelligence Committee report that deals with a briefing former FBI Director James Comey provided about former national security adviser Mike Flynn. House Republicans say Mr. Comey told them his own agents did not believe Mr. Flynn lied to them. On his book tour, Mr. Comey has said that isn’t true. Someone isn’t being honest. Is the FBI more interested in protecting the reputations of two former directors (the other being Mr. Mueller, who dragged Mr. Flynn into court on lying grounds) than in telling the public the truth?

It’s hard to have any faith in the necessity of the more than 300 redactions in the House Intel report, most of which the Republican committee members insist are bogus and should be removed. On every occasion that Justice or the FBI has claimed material must be withheld for the sake of national security or continuing investigations, it has later come out that the only thing at stake were those institutions’ reputations. Think the Comey memos, which showed the former director had little basis for claiming obstruction. Or Sen. Chuck Grassley’s criminal referral of dossier author Christopher Steele, the FBI’s so-called reliable source, whom we now know it had to fire for talking to the press and possibly lying.

The Justice Department is laying all this at the feet of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which technically oversees redactions. But ODNI consults with the agency that “owns” the material, and the FBI is clearly doing the blocking. Again, many pieces of the House Intel report that are being hidden happen to relate to FBI conduct during the 2016 election.

The increasingly poisonous interaction between Congress and the Justice Department also stems from a growing list of questions Republicans have about leading Justice Department officials’ roles in the events Congress seeks to investigate. Mr. Rosenstein’s name was on at least one of the applications for a warrant on Carter Page to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Dana Boente’s name is on another, and he’s now serving as the FBI’s general counsel.

We can’t know the precise motivations behind the Justice Department’s and FBI’s refusal to make key information public. But whether it is out of real concern over declassification or a desire to protect the institutions from embarrassment, the current leadership is about 20 steps behind this narrative. Mr. Comey, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Andrew McCabe - they have already shattered the FBI’s reputation and public trust. There is nothing to be gained from pretending this is business as usual, or attempting to stem continued fallout by hiding further details.

This week’s events - including more flat-out subpoena defiance - put a luminous spotlight on Speaker Paul Ryan. The credibility of the House’s oversight authority is at stake. Mr. Ryan’s committee chairmen have done remarkable work exposing FBI behavior, and they deserve backup. The quickest way to get Justice and FBI to comply with these legitimate requests is for Mr. Ryan to state strongly and publicly that he has zero qualms about proceeding down the road of contempt or impeachment if House demands are not met. This is the people’s government, not the Justice Department’s.

Comments

macholatte detached.amusement Sun, 05/06/2018 - 10:55 Permalink

 

What we all know, and what tens of millions of numb skulls refuse to come to grips with is this: If the truth gets out, if a real Attorney General appoints a real Special Prosecutor, dozens of Prog blue brains will be indicted and face serious jail time. The felonies are numerous.  For the first time in our history a past POTUS could go to jail.

 

In reply to by detached.amusement

Buckaroo Banzai prymythirdeye Sun, 05/06/2018 - 11:09 Permalink

The problem of course is, the Jew Rosenstein is part of the Mueller/Comey/McCabe criminal cabal that is creating the problems in the first place. When one of the criminals is in charge of the investigation, are we supposed to be surprised when the investigation goes nowhere?

One day, Donald J. Trump is going to wake up and realize that, according to the Constitution, he is the highest-ranking Law Enforcement official in the land, and will start acting like it. Trump doesn't answer to the DOJ, the DOJ answers to him. Obviously, Congress can try to impeach him if they want, and it's entirely possible that the treasonous Republican leadership in the House and Senate has told Trump behind closed doors that they will join with the democrats to impeach and convict him if he actually tries to exercise the full duties and powers of his office in order to DRAIN THE MOTHERFUCKING SWAMP.

In reply to by prymythirdeye

Keyser DingleBarryObummer Sun, 05/06/2018 - 11:21 Permalink

Just out, Nunes was on the Sunday Morning Fox show and announced that the Intel committee is going to hold Sessions in contempt of Congress, this week... This should get interesting as the only thing more important to Session other than his retirement is his reputation... 

In reply to by DingleBarryObummer

A Sentinel Gadfly Sun, 05/06/2018 - 16:56 Permalink

They have nothing to lose by going through the impeachment of even several top doj guys - if the stuff they’re holding back is as dirty as it smells, releasing it is the worst option.

it may reach the point where like Hilary, ghoulish flaunting of the law and open destruction of evidence is their best (dominant) strategy.

In reply to by Gadfly

CheapBastard bamawatson Sun, 05/06/2018 - 12:10 Permalink

Sadly, Trump chose Sessons for unknown reasons. He has turned out to be the most spineless and incompetent AG in decades.

Bring back someone like Dick Thornberg who prosecuted over 700 bankers and wall street fraudsters in the 1980s. Thornberg was brilliant and surrounded himself with top notch patriot lawyers.

In reply to by bamawatson

Theosebes Goodfellow lew1024 Sun, 05/06/2018 - 13:55 Permalink

~" Mr. Rosenstein took things to a new level on Tuesday, accusing House Republicans of “threats,” extortion and wanting to “rummage” through department documents."~

 

Dear Rod Rosenstein,

It's the JOB of CONGRESS, to "rummage through your documents", you egregiously stupid fuck. The FBI should NOT HAVE secrets Congress can't see. Using the power of redaction to protect criminal activity is felonious. Your time in jail is coming, your treasonous piece of feces. 

Signed,

The American citizens

 

 

In reply to by lew1024

Harry Lightning bamawatson Sun, 05/06/2018 - 13:29 Permalink

I am asking the same question.

All these FBI and Justice Department people are under the Executive branch led by the President. Why the President just doesn't order the departments and agencies to comply is a troubling matter. Doesn't the President have the power to order his direct reports to act the way he wants them to ?

The President can order Generals and Admirals on how to conduct war, but he cannot de-classify documents related to actions of his own employees ?I have never seen as intransigent a direct report as this guy Sessions, why is he still employed by the government, especially in a position dealing with the administration of justice ? He seems like a criminal, like a mafia don who repeatedly pleads the Fifth Amendment under any questioning including what his name is. This is how a major supporter of the President acts once in power ? What the hell happened with this guy between the campaign and his appointment to Attorney General ? Its like he was neutered and then underwent shock therapy. Something is very wrong with this guy, as if he is being blackmailed with the worst possible kind of evidence of wrongdoing. Or he is an integral member of a palace coup...which doesn't make sense because the plotters in making their plans would have to have assumed that the guy would be fired before he was able to be effective in carrying out the plot.

I don't know, something is very wrong in this whole story. If this was a company, people would have been fired for cause a long time ago. I wish I knew someone who could explain all this, because the more it doesn't make sense, the more it looks like a charade to cover up the actual story of what really is happening behind the scenes.

In reply to by bamawatson

ItsAllBollocks bamawatson Sun, 05/06/2018 - 13:45 Permalink

Benjamin Netanyahu is the only logical person who could be the real President of the US which could explain why US politicians must swear allegiance to Israel and why Trump behaves as Israel's servant.

The District of Columbia is an independent city state that has nothing to do with America. Just like The City Of London has nothing to do with England or The Vatican has nothing to do with Italy and each has an obelisk for some reason.

As the Rothschilds own or control Israel, the City of London, the Vatican and all the Central Banks including the FED, you can assume they own or control the District of Columbia as well.

Don't take my word for it, google it

In reply to by bamawatson

CatInTheHat caconhma Sun, 05/06/2018 - 12:05 Permalink

No, because he's part of the swamp and is protecting the swamp creature holdovers from the Obama, FBI, DOJ criminal cabal.

Secondly, it would turn Russiagate on it's head. No longer can it be Russia who is blamed for the election fraud. Is this important, in fact, critical? Of course. They need to manufacture consent for war on Russia..  

In reply to by caconhma

Harry Lightning CatInTheHat Sun, 05/06/2018 - 13:37 Permalink

I'm sorry but I cannot accept the premise that the people running the American government would ever take consideration of a war on Russia seriously. Of course its one of many possibilities that someone in the basement of the Pentagon thinks about, and sure, armaments are in place to defend against Russian attacks against the West in various spots around the globe. But it strains credulity to think that anyone seriously thinks that either side would allow a situation to get that bad as resulting in war directly between the two countries. 

There was a protracted period during the Cold War when both sides fought each other marginally through proxies. Korea, Vietnam, later Angola...but the countries walked away realizing that it was too dangerous a game, because of what happened in Cuba and how it nearly brought thew countries to the brink. If not for a Russian Naval Commander...

So I don't think the two countries would consider a re-do on the proxy war exercise. Absent of that, I think its foolish to spend any time even imagining what a confrontation would look like, nor make any plans or predictions that has a war with the Russians somehow involved in America's calculations.

In reply to by CatInTheHat

xcct Keyser Sun, 05/06/2018 - 13:23 Permalink

Needs to happen quick and be followed by AG impeachment as well as Rosenstein.

 

If Sessions is truly playing 4D chess as the silent executioner and not the bumbling idiot he appears to be, he has to strike now. Get that IG report out now even if they announce updates will follow.

 

Either way, he's out of time.  Other side trying to run out the clock with all the inuendo Mueller and the leftists can muster for November.

 

If POTUS lets morons snatch defeat from the jaws of victory he will have deserved it for having an administration full of Obama holdovers and miscreants that should have been fired Jan 20, 2017.

 

People need to be perp-walked, given trial, and sent to jail NOW.

 

In reply to by Keyser

Giant Meteor virgule Sun, 05/06/2018 - 11:40 Permalink

My thesis all along ..

THe various alphabet soup agencies have been weaponized, for use against any and all miscreants, no matter their political leanings and or presumed ideologies.

The true rulers, that is to say the money changers, don't give a shit about ones politics. What they DO give a shit about is continuing their system of absolute power and control. The present political structure is the issuance of the debt money.

Nothing more, nothing less ..

In reply to by virgule