DOJ denies House conservatives' request to review Mueller’s directive

DOJ denies House conservatives' request to review Mueller’s directive
© Greg Nash

The Department of Justice has declined a request from members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus to view an unredacted memo detailing the scope of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation.

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd told the lawmakers in a letter on Wednesday that turning over the memo would "threaten the integrity" of Mueller's ongoing investigation into possible collusion between President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE's campaign and Russia, according to a copy of the correspondence obtained by The Hill.

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“Although we are working to accommodate the requests of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in a number of oversight matters, we cannot provide the requested information pertaining to the Special Counsel’s ongoing investigation consistent with longstanding principles of investigatory independence," Boyd wrote in the letter, which was first reported by the Washington Examiner.

A redacted version of the August memo signed by Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinEx-federal prosecutor: I would have 'owned' wearing a wire to record Trump The embarrassing return of Andrew McCabe The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight MORE, which was made public in court filings, authorizes the Mueller investigation and directs Mueller to investigate whether Trump campaign officials “committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials.”

Mueller's team is authorized to pursue any and all criminal charges uncovered by the investigation.

On Tuesday, Rosenstein warned GOP lawmakers against pressuring the Justice Department, saying that the agency would not be "extorted" by Congress.

"There have been people who have been making threats privately and publicly against me for quite some time and I think they should understand by now the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted," he said.

"If he believes being asked to do his job is 'extortion,' then Rod Rosenstein should step aside and allow us to find a new Deputy Attorney General — preferably one who is interested in transparency," Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight Winners and losers in the border security deal GOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration MORE (R-N.C.), the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, tweeted in response.

Representatives for the caucus did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

Olivia Beavers contributed to this report, which was updated at 3:38 p.m.