Lawmakers grilled Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray Thursday about their objectivity, alleged suppression of documents and surveillance methods related to the Trump-Russia investigation, The Associated Press reported.
Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee believe the department is involved in a conspiracy against President Donald Trump. They also say the department has refused to turn over documents that they believe could show improper conduct by the FBI, the report states.
Republican lawmakers also point to an inspector general report this month that unearthed derogatory FBI emails about Trump. The email exchanges are reportedly made by FBI agents involved in investigating Trump’s presidential campaign.
The hearing was held as the House prepares to vote on a resolution on July 6. The resolution would order the department to hand over thousands of documents about FBI investigations on Hillary Clinton’s private email use and possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, The Associated Press reported.
The House Judiciary Committee approved the resolution on Tuesday. And on Wednesday, the panel privately interviewed an FBI agent who allegedly sent negative Trump texts, the report states.
When the hearing began, the Judiciary Committee chair, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, complained that the FBI and Justice Department had not produced all of the necessary documents.
Wray and Rosenstein said law enforcement officials have been working diligently to turn over the requested records.
“The Department of Justice and the FBI are not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. The President and Congress are,” Goodlatte said. “Our constitutional oversight necessitates that institutions like the FBI and DOJ yield to Congress’ constitutional mandate.”
Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis of Florida demanded to know why Rosenstein had not recused from overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump committed obstruction of justice, the report states. The question came up partly because Rosenstein helped lay the groundwork for the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
“I can assure you that if it were appropriate for me to recuse, I’d be more than happy to do so,” Rosenstein replied.