Senate Judiciary chair: FBI must confirm if Trump is under investigation

Senate Judiciary chair: FBI must confirm if Trump is under investigation
© Greg Nash

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGrassley to hold drug pricing hearing Overnight Health Care: HHS chief refuses to testify on family separations | Grassley to test GOP on lowering drug prices | PhRMA spends record on lobbying in 2018 Congress should stop tariff power grab, bring balance to US trade policy MORE (R-Iowa) says the FBI must confirm whether the agency is investigating President Trump.

“It should confirm to the public whether it is or is not investigating the president. Because it has failed to make this clear, speculation has run rampant,” the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman said, according to a prepared statement for his committee’s executive business meeting.

Trump claimed in his termination letter to FBI Director James Comey this week that Comey told him “on three separate occasions” he was not under investigation.

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Grassley said while he and the committee’s ranking member, Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenate Dems introduce bill to keep DACA info private U.S. banker tied to Russia sought access to Trump transition team: report Oregon Dem top recipient of 2018 marijuana industry money, study finds MORE (D-Calif.), have not heard anything to contradict this statement, they would like the agency to confirm following Comey’s dismissal.

Grassley and Feinstein, both briefed by Comey, are aware which individuals are under investigation by the FBI, he said. Grassley, saying he could not disclose whom the targets are, encouraged Comey to be transparent and tell the public what he shared with them.

“I said he should tell the public what he told Senator Feinstein and me about whether the FBI is or is not investigating the president,” he added.

Grassley said Comey did not want to list names or tell them whether the president was under investigation because it would lead to a “slippery slope” in which other names could ultimately be revealed.

“I understand why he took that position, but I don’t agree — at least not when it comes to the president and senior government officials. The American people deserve to know if senior government officials are under active criminal or intelligence investigation,” he said.

The Iowa senator said rumors and conspiracy theories about the FBI being out to get Trump further damages Americans' trust in the nation’s democracy.

“The intelligence community said that one of the Russians’ goals is to undermine the American public’s faith in our democratic institutions. Wild speculation that the FBI is targeting the president in a criminal or intelligence inquiry is not just irresponsible and unfounded,” he said. “It provides aid and comfort to the Russians and their goal of undermining faith in our democracy.”