Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 18, 2017, for a closed-door meeting with Senators a day after appointing former FBI Director Robert Mueller to oversee the investigation into possible ties between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
According to reports, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray paid an unscheduled call on House Speaker Paul Ryan:
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Chris Wray made an unannounced visit to Speaker Paul Ryan’s office Wednesday as the Justice Department grapples with an increasingly hostile faction of House Republicans demanding documents related to the bureau’s Russia probe.
Rosenstein was spotted entering Ryan’s office, and a spokesman for the speaker confirmed that Rosenstein and Wray had requested the meeting. A second person familiar with the meeting said it was related to a document request issued over the summer by House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes.
Nunes (R-Calif) has mounted an aggressive push — with the threat of contempt citations for members of the FBI and Justice Department — to glean more information about how the FBI handled a disputed dossier alleging illicit ties between President Donald Trump and the Kremlin.
“Unfortunately, DOJ/FBI’s intransigence with respect to the August 24 subpoenas is part of a broader pattern of behavior that can no longer be tolerated,” Nunes wrote to Rosenstein in a letter provided to Fox News last week.
Nunes is seeking details about meetings between FBI officials and those who helped compile the dossier. He also demanded interviews with a slate of top FBI officials. And he’s floated the notion of issuing contempt resolutions against Rosenstein and Wray if they fail to comply.
It looks like Rosenstein has finally realized that Devin Nunes is a) not easily bullied and b) isn’t going away and he’s now trying to play the refs to take the heat off.
Today was the deadline for Justice and the FBI to respond to document requests about the Trump dossier.
Worth nothing we have just hit deadline by which Congressman Nunes told DOJ/FBI to hand over a lot of sensitive info on the investigation: pic.twitter.com/XmUInEbaPX
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) January 3, 2018
Read the letter in the above tweet if you want an idea of how serious this is.
The reluctance of Justice and the FBI to cooperate is inexplicable. I mean, we’ve been told by the New York Times and assured by new converts to the Papadopoulos-was-the-source malarkey that the dossier had no role in the FBI or the Mueller investigation. Therefore, there isn’t any way the information could interfere with an ongoing investigation.
I suspect some kind of compromise will come out of this that will give Nunes most of what he’s asking for. Ryan’s position in the GOP caucus is not so strong that he can afford to be seen helping hide from his own caucus documents that they have every right to see in their oversight role. It is doubly difficult to see Ryan rolling one of his own chairmen to protect the FBI from scrutiny knowing what we know of how partisan the upper levels were under James Comey.