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GOP congressman: DOJ is ‘slow-walking’ release of controversial documents ahead of midterms
Jason Means / CCL; U.S. Department of Agriculture / CCL
With the Democrats’ advantage in the generic ballot gone, the intelligence community has stepped in to keep the “blue wave” intact, according to one Republican congressman.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has accused the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) of “slow-walking” the release of documents to cover up Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton-era corruption in the intelligence community until after midterms.
Quid pro quo?
Republican committeemen Bob Goodlatte (VA), Devin Nunes (CA), and Trey Gowdy (SC) have requested documents about the intelligence community’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, its decision to fire former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and potential Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses in its surveillance of Donald Trump campaign associate Carter Page. But according to Issa, the FBI and DOJ are deliberately holding back on thousands of pages about these investigations.
The intelligence community stands to benefit if the Democrats take over the House, Issa said. If the Democrats become the majority, they’ll use their power to cover up the corruption, he alleges.
“The reality is they are being slow-walked until after the election with the hopes the Democrats will take over the House or the Senate and then the investigations will be covered up,” Issa said on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures.
Anti-FBI sentiment has become widespread among Republicans, who have accused the agency of trying to make Hillary Clinton president and undermining Donald Trump with a politicized investigation. In particular, the FBI and DOJ have come under scrutiny for allegedly soft-balling the probe into Hillary Clinton’s emails and spying on the Trump campaign.
The Justice Department is conducting an independent, internal investigation into the FBI’s handling of the email investigation, led by Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who recommended a criminal investigation into McCabe for lying to the FBI about leaks to newspapers. Along with James Comey, McCabe led the FBI during the Clinton probe and the early days of the investigation into Trump.
Congressional Republicans are now investigating any wrongdoing in the intelligence community’s handling of the 2016 election, including claims that the FBI and DOJ deliberately spied on the Trump campaign using FISA warrants obtained under misleading circumstances. A memo from Nunes alleged that the Obama Justice Department did not disclose that the evidence they presented to a federal judge was Democrat-funded opposition research, the infamous Christopher Steele dossier.
Issa and host Maria Bartiromo agreed on Sunday that the FBI and DOJ lied to get the warrants. While the FBI did use a lawful process under the FISA act, they lied four times to get four separate warrants, Issa said, adding:
The important thing is: It is very clear that we are being asked to trust the Department of Justice who we know did, in fact, use a law that allows them to spy but lied to get the warrants, lied to a federal judge under the FISA act. So this is one of the challenges. Make no bones about it. A FISA warrant is, in fact, a license to spy. Now the question is did you lie, cheat, or steal in order to do that?
Issa, who once led the House Oversight Committee now led by Gowdy, said that it is “very much a tradition” for the FBI to lie. He called for transparency and insisted it was critical that Republicans keep up the pressure, saying:
No question in my mind that this would be something that would just go away if we lose the gavel.
Slow-walking the documents may help cover up corruption if the Democrats take back the House — but it may also be necessary for the Democrats take back the House at all. Recent polling shows the Democrats’ advantage in the generic ballot has just about vanished.
Democrats once touted positive polling results as signs of an incoming “blue wave” that would spell doom for Republicans and put them in a position to impeach President Trump. But with the “blue wave” finally subsiding, the Democrats will need to do everything they can to keep Robert Mueller’s investigation relevant until the midterms — and covering up corruption at the FBI by slow-walking documents allows the intelligence community to do their part in that.
It’s clear that the Dems are getting desperate as we inch closer to November — and if Republicans hold the guilty parties accountable for covering up corruption, there’s no doubt the country will be painted red this fall.
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