Grassley wants to subpoena Comey, Lynch after critical IG report

Grassley wants to subpoena Comey, Lynch after critical IG report
© Greg Nash

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyKavanaugh paper chase heats up Kavanaugh gets questionnaires for confirmation hearing Franken offers Dems a line of questioning for Kavanaugh's 'weirdly specific bit of bulls---' MORE (R-Iowa) wants to subpoena former FBI director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyFBI confidence in leaders sank after Comey was fired: report Ex-GOP lawmaker: Strzok hearing 'was a humiliating day' for Republicans Ignore the spin — still no evidence of Trump collusion MORE and Loretta Lynch, who served as attorney general in the Obama administration.

Grassley would like to question the pair about a critical report released last week by the Department of Justice's (DOJ) inspector general that scrutinized the FBI's handling of the investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton to Trump ahead of Putin summit: 'Do you know which team you play for?' 10 things we learned from Peter Strzok's congressional testimony Get ready for summit with no agenda and calculated risks MORE's use of a private email server while secretary of State.

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At a Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this week, Grassley criticized Comey and Lynch for not appearing before his panel. Grassley said Comey's attorney told him that the former FBI chief was out of the country "although I saw he was in Iowa over the weekend. According to his Twitter feed, he seems to be having a wonderful time."

During an interview for C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" show set to be aired Friday, Grassley said, "I want to subpoena [Comey and Lynch]."

Grassley noted that under the rules of the Judiciary Committee, the chairman and the ranking member – Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDems launch pressure campaign over migrant families California Dems endorse progressive challenger over Feinstein Kavanaugh paper chase heats up MORE (D-Calif.) – must both agree on the use of subpoenas.

Pressed on the timing of the possible subpoenas, Grassley laughed and said, "If Sen. Feinstein told me yesterday that she would do it, we'll do it."

The DOJ inspector general report was critical of both Lynch and Comey's handling of the FBI investigation into Clinton's emails, finding that agency protocol was broken. 

• Special counsel probe on Russia. Asked whether it's time for special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE to wrap up his investigation, Grassley said the probe findings shouldn't be released soon before the election: "I think Mueller would be the type of person professionally either gets this done by Labor Day or else it'll come in November or December or January. I don't think he should do it -- for sure don't do it the month of October."

• Top DOJ officials. While some Republicans are clamoring for President TrumpDonald John TrumpSasse: Trump shouldn't dignify Putin with Helsinki summit Top LGBT group projects message onto Presidential Palace in Helsinki ahead of Trump-Putin summit Hillary Clinton to Trump ahead of Putin summit: 'Do you know which team you play for?' MORE to oust Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsConservatives moving to impeach Rosenstein soon: report Senators urge DOJ to probe whether Russians posed as Islamic extremist hackers to harass US military families The Hill's Morning Report — Trump readies for Putin summit: 'He’s not my enemy’ MORE and Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinCarl Bernstein: Recent indictments show Mueller probe is 'not a witch hunt' Gowdy rules out Rosenstein impeachment Five things to watch for in Trump-Putin summit MORE, Grassley said he has confidence in both DOJ officials as well as Mueller. 

• Trade. Grassley acknowledged GOP frustration with Trump on his trade policies, saying he understands the president is trying to get better agreements with other countries. The Iowa senator, who said he talks to Trump about twice a month, said "it's a big gamble" that could net big wins for the country or "go over the brink" and be "catastrophic."

• Prison reform. There is pressure on the Senate to pass a prison reform bill, but Senate Republicans are split on whether to pass the House-passed bill or vote on a more comprehensive measure that includes sentencing reform. Grassley favors the latter and indicated there hasn't been much progress made on a compromise, though expressed optimism legislation could pass this year. 

• EPA chief's future. Grassley stopped short of saying embattled EPA chief Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittNew EPA chief draws sharp contrast to Pruitt Overnight Energy: House to vote on anti-carbon tax measure | Dem says EPA obstructed 'politically charged' FOIA requests | GOP looks to overhaul endangered species law Top Dem: EPA slowed ‘politically charged’ FOIA requests MORE should resign in the wake of various ethics controversies. The allegations "don't sound very good" and "are disturbing," Grassley said, adding he wants to wait until all of the investigations on Pruitt are completed before making an assessment.

• Supreme Court resignation? Grassley said he has heard "the usual rumors" about a possible retirement on the high court. "I have not had any confirmation -- I've tried to get some type of confirmation -- and I can't get it," the 84-year-old senator said with a chuckle. Any Supreme Court nomination would be tackled by Grassley's panel. 

The interview will air on C-SPAN at 10 p.m. ET on Friday and at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday