Week ahead: FBI, intel chiefs head to Capitol Hill

Week ahead: FBI, intel chiefs head to Capitol Hill
© Camille Fine

The head of the FBI is expected to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee in the coming week for a routine hearing about global threats that pose a risk to U.S. national security.

FBI Director Christopher Wray, who is scheduled to appear on Tuesday, will address questions about worldwide threats with other top intelligence officials, including Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsRemembering leaders who put country above party The Memo: Polling points to warning signs for GOP on Trump Brent Budowsky: Deep Throat's defending our democracy MORE, CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoReporter presses Pompeo on whether he met with Giuliani in Warsaw Pompeo: 'I wish the NBA would acknowledge' China's treatment of Uyghur Muslims Dem senator urges Pompeo to fire State official accused of retaliation, harassment MORE and National Security Agency Director Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersCivil liberties groups sound alarm over online extremism bill Extremists find new home in online app Telegram China cheats — and we let them MORE, among others, according to the committee. 

His appearance on Capitol Hill comes at a time when the bureau is facing scrutiny from President TrumpDonald John TrumpWHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Trump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage MORE and some GOP lawmakers over allegations of political bias. 

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While FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page no longer serve on special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox News legal analyst says Trump call with Ukraine leader could be 'more serious' than what Mueller 'dragged up' Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network MORE's investigative team after an internal investigation last year revealed that they had sent text messages disparaging Trump and other political figures during the election, Republican senators may question Wray about the status of the two officials, their involvement in now-closed investigations and their continued work at the bureau.

Also be on the lookout for a possible showdown between Wray and Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenDemocrats urge Rick Perry not to roll back lightbulb efficiency rules Bipartisan senators want federal plan for sharing more info on supply chain threats PhRMA CEO warns Pelosi bill to lower drug prices would be 'devastating' for industry MORE (D-Ore.) over the issue of encryption. Wyden wrote a letter to the FBI chief in late January blasting him for calling for a technical fix to the so-called going dark problem, or the inability of authorities to break into encrypted devices and access-protected data during investigations.

Meanwhile, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Subcommittee on Information Technology is holding the first of three hearings on artificial intelligence on Wednesday, exploring the barriers to, as well as potential challenges and advantages of, use of AI in the government.

The House Intelligence Committee will also likely be busy. Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon may appear before the House panel in the coming week. The meeting was postponed on Wednesday over a dispute between Bannon's legal team and the committee about the scope of his pending interview. 

In a committee consumed with partisan infighting, both Democrats and Republicans were equally infuriated with Bannon last month after he essentially asserted a form of executive privilege, refusing to discuss matters that took place during the Trump transition period.

Lawmakers on the committee said he had no basis to assert this privilege on the transition period because Trump was not in office yet.

If Bannon does not appear, expect Democrats on the committee to push for a vote to enforce the subpoena against him.

 

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Morgan Chalfant contributed.