In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, acting-Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, and DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, two senior lawmakers in the Republican House leadership said it was time for the Department of Justice to hire a second independent counsel to look into the agency’s botched handling of two major 2016 investigations: Russian election interference and the Hillary Clinton email scandal.
The letter, written by U.S. Reps Bob Goodlatte and Trey Gowdy, urged the DOJ leadership to “investigate these matters, consistent with your jurisdiction, so the final definitive accounting can be made to the American people.”
In their letter, Goodlatte and Gowdy effectively drew to an end the House investigations into these issues – issues that Democrats have already signaled will not be a priority when they take over control of the chamber next week. But neither Republican was pleased with the way the investigation went, blaming the Department of Justice for standing in the way of effective oversight.
“Regrettably, our joint investigation was impacted by institutional protectionism on the part of the DOJ and FBI,” they wrote. “For example, the agencies delayed the production of relevant documents and failed to provide witnesses in a timely manner. DOJ continues to refuse to declassify documents necessary to the investigation despite the President’s request [that] the documents be declassified.”
For their part, Democrats are solely interested in using the various oversight committees as a campaign platform heading into 2020, the idea being to swamp the Trump White House in so many investigations and bad media coverage that it will be impossible for him to get his re-election effort off the ground. And if it results in a meaningless House impeachment, so much the better. In order to justify turning off these important investigations into the DOJ’s 2016 conduct, senior Democrats have been assailing the Republicans as providing “cover” for Trump.
“Our Republican colleagues seem intent on spending their final days in power attempting to provide cover to President Trump and attempting to re-litigate the Department of Justice’s decision not to prosecute Secretary Clinton,” Reps. Jerry Nadler and Elijah Cummings said in a statement.
Gowdy and Goodlatte say that any insinuation that they were trying to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller is unfair and untrue.
“Quite the opposite, whatever product is produced by the special counsel must be trusted by Americans that requires asking tough but fair questions about investigative techniques both employed and not employed,” the letter said.
Exactly. Most Americans already see Mueller’s investigation as an exercise in partisanship. And until we know WHY Hillary Clinton was let off scot-free and WHY no one at the Justice Department can come out and explain how the Trump/Russia investigation started, those serious questions will remain. And Mueller’s final report, regardless of what it says, will be regarded as a biased political document.