The House judiciary committee approved a resolution on June 26 to demand that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein turn over all documents the committee has requested related to the FBI’s handling of the Russia investigation during the 2016 election.
The resolution compels Rosenstein to comply within seven days. If Rosenstein does not comply, lawmakers said they will move to impeachment or contempt charges.
The 15-11 party-line vote marked the first time the committee approved a resolution to demand the documents, bringing the tension in the yearlong confrontation with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to new heights. House Speaker Paul Ryan promised to bring the resolution before a full floor vote if the Justice Department continued to stonewall the information request.
The resolution demands documents related to the wiretapping of former Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page and any other person who worked on Trump’s campaign. The resolution also calls for the information the FBI and DOJ gave to the Clinton and Trump campaigns during intelligence briefings. The document further calls for all documents requested by Congress to be presented in an unredacted format.
Page was wiretapped based on a warrant that was obtained with an unverified opposition-research dossier funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Some of the documents that the lawmakers are requesting deal with the time before the FBI officially launched the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign. That period is under intense scrutiny after leaks to the media revealed that the bureau had a spy infiltrate the campaign before the investigation officially started in late July 2016.
The FBI has strict rules for using confidential informants and requires substantial evidence before doing so. Some Trump allies suggest that the DOJ and FBI may not have had the documents necessary to justify using a spy. The absence of a rationale for using the informant would lead to questions about whether Trump’s campaign was investigated for political reasons during an election year, a violation of Justice Department policy.