FBI director doubles down on staff to respond to House’s subpoena on agency work

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CNN

FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday he was doubling the number of FBI employees tasked with reviewing a large number of documents requested by members of the Republican House regarding a wide range of controversial decisions made by the FBI .

The move comes amid mounting pressure not only from lawmakers on Capitol Hill, but also from Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Last week, Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, issued a subpoena for documents relating to the FBI investigation into former Hillary Clinton’s use of a private mail server while she was Secretary of State, the FBI’s “potential abuses” of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in monitoring Trump Carter Page campaign aid and the internal recommendation of the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility to dismiss former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. While these are a trio of seemingly disparate issues, all related to recent Republican accusations of political bias that have regularly circulated on Fox News programming.

But a Justice Department source told CNN that Sessions was fed up with seeing his department blasted about these pending requests and told Wray the pace was “unacceptable,” the source said.

“The FBI is called to the fore,” said the source, explaining that senior officials from the Department of Justice and the FBI have met on the matter.

The source said the attorney general considered responding to Congress a “top priority” and told Wray to increase resources to speed up the process if necessary. The sessions “are over” seeing the department criticized for congressional FBI “slow march” requests, the source added.

Wray said in a statement Tuesday that the FBI had already assigned 27 staff to respond to Goodlatte’s requests, but acknowledged that “the current rate of production is too slow.”

“As Director of the FBI, I am committed to ensuring that the office is transparent and responsive to legitimate requests from Congress,” Wray said. “I am doubling the number of FBI employees assigned, for a total of 54, to cover two shifts per day from 8 am to midnight to expedite the completion of this project.”

Last week, the Justice Department said the FBI has been working since January to produce documents on an ongoing basis and that around 3,000 have already been produced.

Deputy Attorney General Stephen Boyd further explained in a letter to Goodlatte on Tuesday night that the House subpoena included certain “first-time requested” documents and that designated committee members could review other categories of documents. sensitive in person to the Justice Department, including “over 1,000 pages related to the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.”


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