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 GrassleyChuck GrassleyThe 17 Republicans who voted to advance the Senate infrastructure bill Senate votes to take up infrastructure deal Capitol insurrection hearing exposes Trumpworld delusions MORE (R-Iowa) wants to subpoena former FBI director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyBiden sister has book deal, set to publish in April Mystery surrounds Justice's pledge on journalist records NYT publisher: DOJ phone records seizure a 'dangerous incursion' on press freedom 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 ClintonBiden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections Highest-ranking GOP assemblyman in WI against another audit of 2020 vote Women's March endorses Nina Turner in first-ever electoral endorsement MORE's use of a private email server while secretary of State.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 FeinsteinNearly 140 Democrats urge EPA to 'promptly' allow California to set its own vehicle pollution standards Biden signs bill to bolster crime victims fund Stripping opportunity from DC's children 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 (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel 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 TrumpFormer New York state Senate candidate charged in riot Trump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report GOP senator clashes with radio caller who wants identity of cop who shot Babbitt MORE to oust Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Democrat stalls Biden's border nominee Garland strikes down Trump-era immigration court rule, empowering judges to pause cases MORE and Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinWashington still needs more transparency House Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week 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 PruittWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Saluting FOIA on its birthday Watchdog found EPA employees kept on payroll by Trump appointees after they were fired: report 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