Department of Justice Still Stonewalling Congress, Jordan Says
Ohio Republican expresses frustration over continuing failure to turn over documents related to Hillary Clinton probe
Department of Justice (DOJ) officials and the FBI are still stonewalling Congress over committee requests for documents related to the Hillary Clinton email investigation, a key member of the House of Representatives said Monday.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a member of the Justice and the Oversight and Government Reform committees, said on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that officials have not even laid out the documents to which Congress is entitled.
Jordan contrasted the FBI’s performance with the speed it moved after discovering some of Clinton’s emails on a laptop computer owned by disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner, the New York Democrat whose wife — Huma Abedin — was a close Clinton aide and confidante.
That discovery prompted then-FBI Director James Comey to reopen the criminal probe 11 days before the 2016 election. Clinton advocates believe Comey’s action was substantially responsible for her upset loss to President Donald Trump.
"They had thousands of documents they had to go through on Anthony Weiner's laptop, Huma Abedin's laptop, that may be related to the Clinton investigation," Jordan said. "They were able to do that in a matter of days and say, 'OK, the investigation's closed, nothing there.' But yet information we in Congress need, we've only got, like, 6,000 documents they sent to us."
Jordan said officials in the executive branch cannot tell Congress the approximate number of documents that exist, what standard they are using to redact those documents or the number of steps in the process. He added the big question that also remains unanswered is when Congress can expect to receive what it has requested.
"That's the biggest problem ... there's no set process over there — no idea what the number is or when we're going to get them."
"That's the biggest problem ... there's no set process over there — no idea what the number is or when we're going to get them," he said. "That's what's driving us crazy."
Jordan blasted Comey, whose interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos aired Sunday night ahead of this week's publication of his book.
"Remember what James Comey did. He misled the American people on both investigations," he said. "He called the Clinton investigation a 'matter' when everyone knew it was an investigation. He did so at the urging of Attorney General [Loretta] Lynch. And then when it came to [Donald] Trump's investigation, he allowed the American people to believe the president is under investigation when, of course, he wasn't."
Jordan said he does not believe Comey ever would have reopened the Clinton probe if he believed she would lose the election. He said Comey believed he could burnish his credentials as an independent investigator while not risking the outcome.
"The only reason he did it was because he was convinced that Secretary Clinton was going to be the next president," he said. "Obviously, the American people had other designs on that."
While Comey has little credibility, Jordan said, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe should have none.
A report released Friday by the Office of Inspector General makes clear that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was justified in firing him, Jordan said.
He pointed to how McCabe sent out an agent to leak information to The Wall Street Journal about an investigation of the Clinton Foundation. The story focused on the fact that some FBI agents believed McCabe had slowed the investigation.
The newspaper quoted a "person close to Mr. McCabe" disputing that narrative. The source described a tense meeting with Justice Department officials in which McCabe insisted the FBI had the authority to investigate.
"To cover his own tracks, the next day when this story is printed, he calls up the assistant director in charge of the Washington field division and the assistant director in the New York office — he calls them up and yells at them, and says, 'What are you guys doing leaking information?'" Jordan said. "Think about that. He sends someone out to do it and then he's blaming someone else."
And then, Jordan noted, McCabe lied about it when confronted by Comey and the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility.
"When it comes to credibility from both Mr. Comey and Mr. McCabe, I don't think there's a whole lot there," he said.