The Hill: House conservatives ask Trump to intervene in fight with DOJ over documents

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Washington, May 16, 2018 | comments

House conservatives ask Trump to intervene in fight with DOJ over documents

BY KATIE BO WILLIAMS - 05/16/18 12:26 PM EDT



Leading conservatives are asking President Trump to intervene in a fight between Department of Justice (DOJ) officials and House Republicans over a stalled request for documents.

In a letter obtained by The Hill, several members of the hardline House Freedom Caucus called on Trump to use his power to release the remaining documents they’ve been trying to obtain from the department.

They said Trump should instruct Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “immediately produce all documents requested by Congress relating to our investigation of certain prosecutorial and investigative decisions made by the Department of Justice and FBI in 2016 and 2017.”

“As a separate and equal branch of government, we have a constitutional right to these documents,” the lawmakers wrote. “The Department of Justice has obstructed Congressional oversight by refusing to supply necessary and relevant documents.”

The letter, which comes nearly one year after the DOJ appointed special counsel Robert Mueller, is signed by Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and Rep. Ron DeSantis(R-Fla.) – some of Trump’s top allies in the House.

“We’ve been consistent from the beginning that the American people have a right to know the truth about what happened at the highest levels of the Justice Department,” Meadows said in a statement. “This letter is another step in that effort for transparency.”

House Republicans have been seeking a tranche of documents that touch on a wide range of issues, including the investigation surrounding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server, the FBI’s decision making during its initial investigation into the Trump campaign and the memo outlining the scope of the special counsel’s Russia investigation.

But conservatives have complained that the DOJ has slow walked their request. Of the 1.2 million documents they have requested, the department has only handed over a few thousand documents, some of which have been heavily redacted.

Meadows and Jordan have previously threatened to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein or hold him in contempt of Congress if he doesn’t work more quickly to turn over documents.

But now, the conservative ringleaders are asking their most powerful ally to step in – and in Trump, who has long blasted the Justice Department’s Russia investigation, they could have a sympathetic ear.

“We believe the best course of action would be for you to exercise the powers vested in the executive to make the documents we require available to Congress,” they wrote.


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