Grassley meets Rosenstein amid tensions over probes

Grassley meets Rosenstein amid tensions over probes
© Keren Carrion

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyKlobuchar: ObamaCare a 'missed opportunity' to address drug costs Just one in five expect savings from Trump tax law: poll Divisions emerge over House drug price bills MORE (R-Iowa) met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Thursday as the Judiciary Committee seeks testimony and documents in its probe into former FBI Director James Comey’s firing and Russia’s election interference. 

Grassley told reporters after the nearly hourlong sit-down that the meeting was about “oversight communications and getting updates and stuff like that.” 

As he left Grassley’s office, Rosenstein separately declined to respond to questions about whether the talks included a discussion about the committee's push to speak with two FBI officials about Comey's firing. 


Grassley has been increasingly frustrated with the Justice Department and intelligence community for withholding information and potential witnesses from the Judiciary Committee’s investigation.

The senator sent Rosenstein a letter on Wednesday about the committee's request to meet with two senior FBI employees, Carl Ghattas and James Rybicki. 

In the letter, Grassley wrote that the panel wanted to question the two officials on a range of issues including the FBI's investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP lawmaker defends Chelsea Clinton after confrontation over New Zealand attacks Klobuchar: Race, gender should not be litmus tests for 2020 Dem nominee Kirsten Gillibrand officially announces White House run MORE's private email server, FBI activities tied to President Trump or the Trump campaign, the FBI’s investigation into Russia's election interference and Comey's firing. 

With Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsO'Rourke on impeachment: 2020 vote may be best way to 'resolve' Trump House Judiciary Dem, Republican clash over details of Whitaker testimony DeVos moves to allow religious groups to provide federally funded services to private schools MORE recused from the Russia investigation, which also includes potential contacts between the Trump campaign and Moscow,  Rosenstein is the top DOJ official with oversight of the FBI’s Russia probe. 

Grassley and Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinOvernight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — FDA issues proposal to limit sales of flavored e-cigs | Trump health chief gets grilling | Divisions emerge over House drug pricing bills | Dems launch investigation into short-term health plans The Hill's Morning Report - Boeing crisis a test for Trump administration Trump faces growing pressure over Boeing safety concerns MORE (D-Calif.) also sent a letter to CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo open to future Senate run: 'The Lord will get me to the right place' Overnight Defense: Trump issues first veto over 'reckless' emergency resolution | Pompeo moves to restrict international court probing war crimes | Trump taps Air Force general for NATO commander The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump condemns 'horrible' New Zealand mosque shootings MORE this week asking that he give the Judiciary Committee “the same materials that have been made available to the Senate Intelligence Committee.” 

“Russian interference in the 2016 election — a matter that implicates federal criminal laws, our electoral process, and the administration of justice — is one of those circumstances involving matters squarely within the Judiciary Committee’s jurisdiction,” Grassley and Feinstein wrote. 

Feinstein, the Judiciary Committee's top Democrat, is also a member of the Intelligence Committee. 

It's not the first time the two panels, which are running parallel investigations, have bumped jurisdictional elbows. 

Grassley and Feinstein both warned earlier this year that they were willing to subpoena Comey to appear before their committee after he declined their invitation to testify but appeared before the Intelligence Committee.