Does the FBI’s refusal to cooperate with the Senate Judiciary Committee have implications for Trump impeachment?
We know that recently Dianne Feinstein got in trouble for dismissing the Trump impeachment dreams of her fellow Democrats. I can’t help but wonder if she knows something about what the deep state has done to oppose and obstruct Donald Trump that has bearing on the criminal behavior of people in government who are not Donald Trump. Whatever it is, the FBI is refusing to deliver testimony to her in direct disobedience to lawful authority.
Byron York writes in the Washington Examiner, “Standoff brews between Senate, FBI over Trump dossier.”
Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley and the committee’s ranking Democrat, Dianne Feinstein, want to interview two high-ranking FBI officials about some key aspects of the bureau’s role in the Trump-Russia investigation — the Trump dossier, the firing of James Comey, and more. But the FBI doesn’t want those officials to talk — even though the Judiciary Committee has oversight responsibility for the FBI, and even though the request is bipartisan, and even though there appears to be no conflict with the ongoing Trump-Russia investigation conducted by special prosecutor Robert Mueller.
A standoff could be developing.
It began on July 11, when Grassley and Feinstein wrote letters to James Rybicki, who was Director Comey’s chief of staff, and Carl Ghattas, head of the bureau’s national security branch. “The committee is investigating the removal of FBI Director James Comey, Russian interference in the 2016 election, and allegations of improper interference in law enforcement investigations,” the chairman and ranking member wrote. “Please make yourself available for a transcribed interview during the week of July 24, 2017.”
It didn’t happen. On July 27, Samuel Ramer, the acting assistant attorney general, wrote to say that Rybicki and Ghattas would not be talking. Noting the Mueller investigation, Ramer said, “Under these circumstances and consistent with the department’s long-standing policy regarding the confidentiality and sensitivity of information relating to pending matters, the department cannot make Mr. Ghattas or Mr. Rybicki available for transcribed interviews at this time.”
Grassley and Feinstein did not agree.