Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte was put on the spot yesterday when he was questioned by Maria Bartiromo about destruction of evidence within the FBI during the Clinton investigation: “I’m told there are some texts that haven’t been released yet about ‘we gotta get our hands on the hard drive or we gotta get our hands on the thumb drive’.” He dodged the question with a vague answer but we get the sense that there was a mad rush to destroy evidence in the Strzok-Page texts and emails during the Clinton investigation. The vote on the “FISA abuse” memo is likely today (see below) so we should see the details soon.
Two very important steps could be taken as soon as tomorrow to ensure the release of the “FISA abuse” memo to the public. A possible vote by the House Intel Committee could possibly take place. We know that the Intel committee is made up of 13 Republicans and 9 democrats so approval to release the memo is almost a certainty. The committee then waits for a decision by President Trump. The president has made clear he supports the release, so the memo could be made public quickly.
Washington Examiner reports:
It is unclear what the Republican majority’s reaction will be if Democrats produce a memo and demand a vote. Obviously, Democrats will not win if the two parties disagree, but it’s not clear what each side’s tactics will be.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department continues to oppose publication of the Republican memo. In a Jan. 24 letter to Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd said it would be “extraordinarily reckless” for the panel to release the memo without giving the Justice Department and the FBI a chance to read it and object.
The Boyd letter is just the latest point of contention between Congress and the Justice Department and FBI over the Trump-Russia affair. Republican oversight committees have complained about Justice-FBI “stonewalling” (House Speaker Paul Ryan’s word) of congressional requests for information, especially concerning the Trump dossier.
Now, though, it appears that Attorney General Jeff Sessions — who remains recused from the Trump-Russia affair — is trying to send conciliatory signals to Congress on the oversight issue. In a speech in Norfolk, Va. on Friday, Sessions suggested the Justice Department has been too “defensive” in handling criticism.