House conservatives ask Trump to intervene in fight with DOJ over documents

House conservatives ask Trump to intervene in fight with DOJ over documents
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Leading conservatives are asking President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want to use 'adversary' to describe Russia Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterms Roby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism MORE to intervene in a fight between Department of Justice (DOJ) officials and House Republicans over a stalled request for documents.

In a letter obtained by The Hill, several members of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus called on Trump to use his power to release the remaining documents they’ve been trying to obtain from the department.

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They said Trump should instruct Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsHomeland Security advisory council members resign over family separations: report Once a Trump critic, Ala. rep faces runoff with his support Ryan: 'The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally' MORE to “immediately produce all documents requested by Congress relating to our investigation of certain prosecutorial and investigative decisions made by the Department of Justice and FBI in 2016 and 2017.”

“As a separate and equal branch of government, we have a constitutional right to these documents,” the lawmakers wrote. “The Department of Justice has obstructed Congressional oversight by refusing to supply necessary and relevant documents.”

The letter, which comes nearly one year after the DOJ appointed special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE, is signed by Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsFreedom Caucus lawmakers call on DOJ to probe Rosenstein allegations House GOP questions FBI lawyer for second day Five GOP lawmakers mulling bid to lead conservative caucus MORE (R-N.C.) and Reps. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanFormer OSU wrestlers sue university over sex abuse allegations Freedom Caucus lawmakers call on DOJ to probe Rosenstein allegations Lawsuit alleges USA Diving ignored sexual abuse of divers MORE (R-Ohio) and Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisGOP lawmaker accuses Brennan of being member of Communist Party Fox's Ingraham chides Gohmert for infidelity questions of Strzok: 'I didn't think that was good' Cook shifts House race of lawmaker who bought multimillion dollar yacht away from GOP MORE (R-Fla.) — some of Trump’s top allies in the House.

“We’ve been consistent from the beginning that the American people have a right to know the truth about what happened at the highest levels of the Justice Department,” Meadows said in a statement. “This letter is another step in that effort for transparency.”

House Republicans have been seeking a tranche of documents that touch on a wide range of issues, including the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Defense: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | GOP looks to reassure NATO | Mattis open to meeting Russian counterpart Dem pollster: GOP women have a more difficult time winning primary races than Dems Mellman: (Mis)interpreting elections MORE’s use of a private email server, the FBI’s decisionmaking during its initial investigation into the Trump campaign and the memo outlining the scope of the special counsel’s Russia investigation.

But conservatives have complained that the DOJ has slow-walked their request. Of the 1.2 million documents they have requested, they say the department has only handed over a few thousand documents in hard copy form, some of which they claim have been heavily redacted.

The DOJ has made space available at the department to allow committee staff to come view hundreds of thousands of unredacted documents while they work through the request - a process that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteDems try to end hearing on bias against conservatives in tech Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page gets closed-door grilling from House Republicans 5 takeaways from wild hearing with controversial FBI agent MORE (R-Va.) has said he was pleased with.

Meadows and Jordan have previously threatened to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinDespite clarification, Trump's Russia remarks put intel chiefs in tough spot More than 100 civil and human rights groups call on Senate to reject Kavanaugh Freedom Caucus lawmakers call on DOJ to probe Rosenstein allegations MORE or hold him in contempt of Congress if he doesn’t work more quickly to turn over documents.

But now, the conservative ringleaders are asking their most powerful ally to step in — and in Trump, who has long blasted the Justice Department’s Russia investigation, they could have a sympathetic ear.

“We believe the best course of action would be for you to exercise the powers vested in the executive to make the documents we require available to Congress,” they wrote.