DOJ’s Defiance of Hill Subpoenas Undermines Public Trust, McCarthy Warns

Former U.S. attorney for Southern District of New York worries such conduct subverts gov't credibility

by Connor Wolf | Updated 14 Jun 2018 at 8:11 AM

National Review columnist and former U.S. Attorney Andy McCarthy argued Wednesday that the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) refusal to respond to congressional subpoenas in a timely manner could undermine the public credibility of the agency.

“National security is really the one area of the law where we really do have to keep secrets, and we really do have to maintain the security of methods of gathering intelligence,” McCarthy (pictured above, right) told Fox News host Laura Ingraham on “The Ingraham Angle” Wednesday night. “So it’s got to be the one place, when you think about counterintelligence, terrorism, intelligence and counterespionage, it’s got to be the one place where the government can look you into the eye and say you can trust us.”

“The problem with this transcends the whole business with Trump and Russia,” McCarthy said. “What concerns me in the long term is there are a lot of things we need to do to protect the United States that require that we will be able to maintain the integrity of intelligence. And I think when they look you in the eye now and say you can trust us, a lot of people are going to look back and say, ‘I don’t think so.'”

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has defied multiple congressional subpoenas while slow-walking documents requested by Congress, which is investigating irregularities related to the 2016 election cycle and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to conduct official government business.

House Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devon Nunes (R-Calif., shown above second from right) told the DOJ and FBI last week that he wants to remove their redactions in a forthcoming report on allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.

The former U.S. attorney argued that the revelation of what they were trying to conceal shows the DOJ and FBI cannot be trusted to decide what the public should and should not know about the investigation. (Also on the Fox News panel was Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz, shown above second from left.)

Related: DiGenova Says Rosenstein Created Special Counsel for No Legal Reason

McCarthy previously served as an assistant U.S attorney for the Southern District of New York. He is best known for leading the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and others for their role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He resigned from the DOJ in 2003.

The House Intelligence Committee and DOJ have been in a dispute for months over the requested documents. The DOJ and FBI claimed they needed to keep some information a secret for national security reasons. McCarthy countered that reasoning was false and that they were really trying to conceal their own questionable judgment.

Related: Prison Ahead for Senate Aide Who Gave Secrets to NYT Lover

Rosenstein also appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to look into Russian meddling, in an investigation that has also been called into question. Politico/Morning Consult found in a recent poll that Mueller's favorability fell to just 32 percent. Critics have questioned whether the investigation is a political witch hunt against President Donald Trump.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is expected to release a long-awaited report Thursday looking into how the DOJ and FBI handled the investigation during the 2016 election campaign into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server for official government business.

Connor Wolf covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.

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