U.S. Attorney Named to Give Congress Records on Clinton's EmailsBy
Trump-appointed prosecutor put in charge of vetting documents
Representative Gowdy expresses frustration over slow pace
Attorney General Jeff Sessions put Chicago U.S. Attorney John Lausch in charge of providing Congress with documents on the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server after criticism from President Donald Trump and House Republicans.
Trump used Twitter Saturday to accuse the Justice Department and FBI of stalling in providing Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee material related to decision-making on the Clinton email investigation and other matters, including the use of secret surveillance warrants.
“The attorney general and FBI director understand the concerns of members of Congress and the president about the pace of production and level of redactions in the documents already received by the committee,” Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement. “By appointing Mr. Lausch to oversee this specific document production, our goal is to assure Congress, the president, and the American people that the FBI is going to produce the relevant documents and will do so completely and with integrity and professionalism.”
Lausch was nominated by Trump to serve as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and was confirmed by the Senate in November.
House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Trey Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, expressed continued frustration at the Department of Justice and FBI for their slow pace in producing the documents.
“I am confident U.S. Attorney John Lausch is a person of competence and character, however, I struggle to understand what has been happening over the previous months since Congress was assured DOJ and FBI were working on the document request,” the South Carolina Republican said in a statement Monday.
Justice Department and FBI officials are reviewing more than a million pages of material to determine what should be turned over in redacted or unredacted form, and what should be withheld, such as secret grand jury material or information related to foreign governments.
House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte issued a subpoena in March for Justice Department documents on the 2016 inquiry into Democrat Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state, which ended in then-FBI Director Jim Comey’s pronouncement that no prosecutor could be expected to pursue criminal charges.
“Given the department’s ongoing delays in producing these documents, I am left with no choice but to issue the enclosed subpoena to compel production of these documents,” Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, wrote to the Justice Department.
Trump wrote on Twitter Saturday, “What does the Department of Justice and FBI have to hide? Why aren’t they giving the strongly requested documents (unredacted) to the HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE? Stalling, but for what reason? Not looking good!”
Democratic lawmakers have said Republicans are trying to rekindle past questions about Clinton to distract from the current probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into whether Trump or anyone close to him colluded in Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.
— With assistance by Billy House