The Justice Department has blinked in its standoff with Congress over documents relating to the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the Russia collusion probe that the department did not want to share.
The Justice Department, which faced a Friday deadline for compliance with House committee demands, began sending the information over the weekend, Newsmax reported.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy had said last week on “Fox News Sunday” that the department was facing legal action if it did not comply.
The South Carolina Republican said House Speaker Paul Ryan had warned that “there’s going to be action on the floor of the House this week if FBI and DOJ do not comply with our subpoena request,” Fox News reported.
A spokesman for the Wisconsin Republican said that the DOJ’s response was a start, but that not everything the House Judiciary Committee and House Intelligence Committee need has been shared.
“Our efforts have resulted in the committees finally getting access to information that was sought months ago, but some important requests remain to be completed,” Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said in a statement, The Daily Caller reported.
“Additional time has been requested for the outstanding items and based on our understanding of the process, we believe that request is reasonable. We expect the department to meet its full obligations to the two committees,” the statement said.
House Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows was less conciliatory.
New reports of DOJ/FBI compliance with document requests are NOT accurate. While they have turned over additional documents, the new documents represent a small percentage of what they owe.
The notion that DOJ/FBI have been forthcoming with Congress is false.
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) June 23, 2018
The North Carolina Republican said the 1,400 documents shared make up a miniscule portion of what has been requested so that the two panels can determine the extent of the FBI’s spying on the Trump campaign.
“Based on the current production rate, it would take them 1 1/2 years to comply,” he told Fox.
Last Sunday, Gowdy said that “the full panoply of constitutional weapons available to the people’s house” are available, including contempt of Congress.
“I don’t want the drama; I want the documents,” Gowdy said.
On Saturday, the Justice Department said it sent a classified letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes that address the question of whether it used an informant to gather information on the Trump campaign, CBS reported. The California Republican had demanded the information.
Gowdy has said in the past that he expects the FBI will be vindicated when the full story comes out.
“I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got, and that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump,” he said.
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