Top Judiciary Dem presses FBI, DOJ to fulfill backlog of oversight requests before next Congress

Top Judiciary Dem presses FBI, DOJ to fulfill backlog of oversight requests before next Congress
© Anna Moneymaker

The presumed next chairman of the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday pressed top Justice Department and FBI officials to address a series of oversight requests that Democrats made before the midterm elections.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and FBI Director Christopher Wray asking that the backlog of these unanswered requests be fulfilled before Democrats take the majority in the House in January.

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"As you are no doubt aware, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have written over one hundred letters to the Trump Administration, including the Department of Justice and the FBI, concerning legitimate oversight matters that fall within our jurisdiction," Nadler wrote. "To date, we have received no substantive response to these communications."

Nadler said he expects the two top government officials to work with him on "a number of our highest priority requests," before the next Congress — specifically pointing to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls Sri Lankan prime minister following church bombings Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' The biggest challenge from the Mueller Report depends on the vigilance of everyone MORE's decision to fire Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsAnd the winner of the Robert Mueller Sweepstakes is — Vladimir Putin The Memo: Mueller's depictions will fuel Trump angst Collins: Mueller report includes 'an unflattering portrayal' of Trump MORE and appoint Whitaker to the role, the president's comments about ongoing federal investigations, and his "personal attacks" on top DOJ officials.

"The President’s behavior appears to be motivated by an urge to shield himself, his family, and his business interests from the ongoing work of the Department and the Bureau," Nadler wrote.

Nadler pointed to five letters sent last year and two letters sent in 2017 that have gone unanswered, mostly centering on Sessions's decisions to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, a probe that Whitaker now has oversight over, and the outing of the identity of an FBI informant.

Nadler asked that the documents be turned over by December 31, a deadline that comes shortly before Democrats take control of the House from Republicans — who they accuse of failing to conduct proper oversight during the Trump administration — and shortly before they gain subpoena power.