Justice Department diversion tactics are infuriating Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). When lawmakers recently requested two very specific pieces of evidence from the Department of Justice, there was no response “beyond acknowledging” the request. DOJ insiders leaked to their favorite outlet, CNN, that there was a response, just not an official one. One of the messages wasn’t “relevant” to the investigation, a “top official” claims. As far as the other, they say they already produced it in February.
“Neither of those claims are accurate,” blasts Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus. It’s “extremely troubling” that the texts were “intentionally withheld.”
The entire dog and pony show surrounding the second mysterious and newly surfaced message seems to be intentional misdirection and cover-up of a fresh “lead” on the trail that leads to Barack Obama’s oval office.
If Rod Rosenstein’s attorneys were “doing everything we can to comply,” as they swear, they would have sent over another copy of the previously disclosed message as a “courtesy.” Civil lawyers do that all the time.
If it wasn’t for leaks to CNN, Meadows wouldn’t even get the excuses. A “Justice Department official,” too cowardly to give his name, “told CNN on Tuesday, however, that neither of the texts were related to the lawmakers’ inquiry into how the FBI handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the department had ‘produced the first text message referenced in the letter to Congress in February of this year.’”
“Once again, we have obtained evidence the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have intentionally withheld material information from Congress,” Meadows scolds.
It is so important, a meeting scheduled on Capitol Hill today could decide the fate of Rod Rosenstein. He is facing potential contempt of Congress charges, as well as removal from his post through “impeachment.”
During Lisa Page’s recent closed-door Congressional testimony she emphasized the importance of two particular text messages that she exchanged with former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, when she served as his Justice Department counselor.
Just before the presidential election, on October 14, 2016, Page messaged, “Just called. Apparently, the DAG wants to be there, and WH wants DOJ to host, so we are setting that up now. We will very much need to get Cohen’s view before we meet with her. Better have him weigh in before the meeting. We need to speak with one voice, if that is, in fact, the case.”
The DAG at the time was Sally Yates but who is this mysterious “Cohen,” whose view is so important they need his opinion before sitting down with the White House? Could it be Obama’s Deputy CIA Director David Cohen?
Before taking the number two spy spot, Cohen was “a top Treasury official specializing in terrorism and financial intelligence,” according to Reuters.
“He was in charge of finding and thwarting financial support lines for terrorist organizations and drug traffickers while running efforts to crack down on money laundering.”
Sounds like a handy guy to have around if you contemplate a covert surveillance operation on a global real estate developer with aspirations to become president.
In his letter, Meadows demands confirmation of the texts and an explanation for why messages “implicating the Obama White House in the initial steps of the Trump campaign investigation” were held back.
The second message, on October 19, confirmed the meeting was ready to go. “Hey, can you give me a call when you get out? Meeting with WH counsel is finally set up and I want to talk about timing. Thanks.”
That’s probably the one already disclosed and does not mean much without the other one to put it in context. That makes the Freedom Caucus think it’s mate was held back on purpose.
Meadows put all of his concerns into a letter which he mailed off to Rosenstein that somehow got forwarded to CNN.
It’s “extremely troubling,” Meadows writes, that evidence was “intentionally withheld” from Congress.
“Specifically, we have learned of the existence of two text messages, sent weeks before the 2016 election, which raise grave concerns as to what other information you have failed to produce to Congress.”
Meadows will be joined on Capitol Hill today by Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) to meet with all the honchos. An official spokesman notes, “the senior Justice Department and FBI officials” will be there.
Meadows agreed to hold back on officially filing the paperwork to start contempt of Congress charges and an impeachment resolution for Rosenstein until the lawmakers hear what the DOJ has to say.
Meadows only expects “to hear the latest on why they haven’t complied” with committee subpoenas.
When Congress relentlessly grilled Peter Strzok in public earlier this month, Meadows asked him outright if he felt such a meeting between the DOJ and Obama would be “appropriate.”
“Do you think that would be appropriate during an ongoing campaign, that the Obama administration would be kept up to speed on a Russia collusion investigation?”
Strzok got evasive with his response. As far as having the meeting, sure why not. “It would be entirely appropriate for the White House to be aware and concerned about what the government of Russia was doing with regards to the elections.”
It was only coincidental that they had to tap the phones of Donald Trump’s campaign workers to get that information?
Meadows wanted to know how high up it went in the White House and if any discussions about the “Russia collusion investigation” ever “took place with the Obama administration’s executive branch?”
There were, but they were perfectly proper, Strzok insists, because nobody was mentioned by name. “My understanding is that there were no discussions of identities of individual US persons who may or may not (have) been the subject of investigations.”