(National Sentinel) Accountability: Frustrated by continued pushback from the FBI and Justice Department over subpoenaed documents the House Intelligence Committee seeks regarding ongoing investigations, its chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, has had enough.
According to The Washington Post‘s political reporter, Robert Costa, the California Republican has told several colleagues he’s ready to hold FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in contempt of Congress.
“House Intel Chair Devin Nunes privately told several colleagues today that it’s time for House GOP to hold Rosenstein and Wray in contempt of Congress, should they refuse to hand over requested docs, according to two people familiar with the discussions…” Costa tweeted on Tuesday.
House Intel Chair Devin Nunes privately told several colleagues today that it's time for House GOP to hold Rosenstein and Wray in contempt of Congress, should they refuse to hand over requested docs, according to two people familiar with the discussions…
— Robert Costa (@costareports) April 10, 2018
The threat comes as the DoJ missed an April 5 deadline to hand over 1.2 million documents related to the FBI’s Hillary Clinton email investigation and abuses of the secretive FISA court during the Obama administration and early on during the Trump administration.
House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., sent a subpoena to the Justice Department on March 22, but it has been ignored.
Rosenstein was set to appear before the Judiciary Committee on April 5.
Once someone is found in contempt of Congress, it’s not clear what authority the Legislative Branch has to compel an Executive Branch official to act.
Some believe that Congress does not have any authority to force an action by an Executive Branch official, citing James Madison’s Federalist 49, which states, “The several departments being perfectly co-ordinate by the terms of their common commission, none of them, it is evident, can pretend to an exclusive or superior right of settling the boundaries between their respective powers.”
Others argue that Article II of the Constitution compels the president to enforce all laws of the United States.