It’s been close to two months since the New York Times, a famously left-leaning publication, revealed news about the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice operation ‘Crossfire Hurricane,’ which targeted the Donald Trump campaign. In that time, it doesn’t seem like much additional information has come forward.
That may be because Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is refusing to turn over requested information to the appropriate authorities on the House Intelligence Committee. Now, however, Representative Devin Nunes, who sits on the HIC, has suggested that the house is coming close to taking serious steps, even going so far as to say that “we can impeach” those who refuse to cooperate., including Rosenstein.
The direct quote from Rep. Nunes, provided during an interview with Maria Bartiromo on Fox News, essentially said that the House knows that they cannot force a resignation, but they can do almost everything else to get Rosenstein out of his cushy position at the DOJ.
They can investigate him, they can hold him in contempt, they can pass resolutions condemning his refusal to cooperate with their lawful demands, and in the end, they can even impeach him.
The pair has battled for months over the documents concerning individuals who took part in the various investigations of Donald Trump and his campaign members.
However, both the Justice Department and FBI fought against cooperating with these demands, and stalled to provide the information about the Christopher Steele dossier and who paid for it, as well as information about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants used to spy on Carter Page.
Now, Nunes is also asking for information related to the source involved in the Obama administration’s investigation into the Trump campaign, a former CIA asset who attempted to make contact with three different members of the campaign, including Page.
Nunes, along with other members of the ‘Gang of Eight,’ met with the Deputy Attorney General and FBI Director Christopher Wray on Thursday last week to discuss their request for information on Stefan Halper.
Wray and Rosenstein resisted their efforts to learn more about the questionable spying on Donald Trump’s campaign, instead claiming that having to turn over documents on Halper and his activities would have a negative impact on various operations.
Specifically, they claimed that that it could risk the safety of ‘ongoing intelligence operations,’ as well as the personal safety of the informant.
Two weeks ago, Wray and Rosenstein promised that they would turn over the documents on Friday last week.
In various statements, Devin Nunes said that if the documents did not turn up by then, there would be “hell to pay” by Wednesday morning this week.
He told Bartiromo that he was “absolutely” willing to move for the impeachment of Rod Rosenstein, even saying that he had been ready to take that step for quite some time if he did not begin to comply with lawful orders from the legislature.
At this point, it’s not clear whether or not the two government executives complied with the legal demand for documents or not.
However, it is worrying that government agents think they can just decide to not turn over documents to the representatives of the American people who request unclassified documents using the Freedom of Information Act.
Being able to see documents in their original state is important for people interested in finding out the truth about government operations. Even if the documents are not proper for release to the civilian populace, government representatives, acting on behalf of their constituents, can still access them.
This is an important way that elected officials can keep government corruption and misdeeds in check. If they’re not allowed to view relevant documents at all, their ability to oversee the operation of government, and to question the legality and morality of its practices, is completely circumvented.
The federal government should not be able to use claims such as ‘security’ concerns as catch-all methods for avoiding oversight of their operations. That should hold doubly true when those investigations targeted a political campaign, and seem to have been launched by people working to undermine said political candidate.
The Obama administration, especially in its last year of operation, seemed to be very interested in partisan witch hunts and, upon learning that there would not be a de facto third Obama term run by Hillary Clinton, began to act to undermine the incoming administration.
It is not hard to believe that the strangely petty former president would lash out at Donald Trump, utilizing the government in the process. However, it will be impossible to find the truth if government executives continuously try to frustrate the investigation.