Departing House Republicans Try to Keep Investigation Into F.B.I. Alive

Departing House Republicans Try to Keep Investigation Into F.B.I. Alive


“Quite the opposite, whatever product is produced by the special counsel must be trusted by Americans, and that requires asking tough but fair questions about investigative techniques both employed and not employed,” they wrote. Both men are retiring in the coming days.

But after a slow start, the investigation came to encompass a bevy of politically charged topics and allowed Republicans to parade through Capitol Hill top F.B.I. and Justice Department officials involved in investigations.

Some of Mr. Trump’s most ardent defenders in the House sit on the committees and used the investigation as a bludgeon on behalf of the president and to declare the Mueller investigation woefully biased against him. When the Justice Department balked at producing sensitive documents about the Trump inquiry, several Republicans threatened to impeach Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general then overseeing the investigation.

The letter from Mr. Goodlatte and Mr. Gowdy was addressed to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader; Matthew G. Whitaker, the acting attorney general; and Michael E. Horowitz, the Justice Department’s inspector general.

Mr. Horowitz is looking at many of the same issues the committee did and already released a 500-page report on the F.B.I.’s conduct this year focused on the Clinton email case. It painted an unflattering picture of top bureau officials — including describing James B. Comey, the former director, as insubordinate and detailing texts by two senior officials bashing Mr. Trump — but did not challenge the conclusion that Mrs. Clinton should not be prosecuted.

Mr. Horowitz is expected to release a second report sometime next year on the period focused on the opening of the investigation of Mr. Trump’s campaign and Russia and the bureau’s surveillance of the former Trump adviser, Carter Page.

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, who will take over next week as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has said he plans to continue some of the investigative work done by House Republicans.

Republicans on the committees plan to release transcripts of each witness interview they conducted, including sessions with Andrew G. McCabe, the former deputy F.B.I. director; Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department official targeted by Mr. Trump over his contacts with the author of a salacious dossier alleging coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia; and other top F.B.I. officials. But they are waiting on the F.B.I. to redact classified information from the documents first.


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