Vote Explanation for H.Res. 970 — Insisting that the Department of Justice fully comply with the requests, including subpoenas, of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the subpoena issued by the Committee on the Judiciary relating to potential violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by personnel of the Department of Justice and related matters
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in our 2016 elections has the support of former CIA and FBI directors who served under both Democratic and Republican administrations, national security officials, and constitutional lawyers; but nonetheless, President Trump and some congressional Republicans are doing everything they can to delegitimize it.
Over the past year, President Trump and the House Freedom Caucus have repeatedly accused the FBI of “spying” on the Trump campaign as evidence that the Russia investigation is a “witch hunt” fabricated by Democrats. However, the informant used by the FBI to “spy” on the Trump campaign was deployed to speak with George Papadopoulos and Carter Page — one of whom has already pleaded guilty — only after there was conclusive evidence implicating these individuals in communicating with Russia.
These false claims of bias have only escalated following the release of a Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General report detailing a series of failures by top federal officials in charge of the Hillary Clinton email investigation ahead of the election. While the report concluded that the FBI’s actions ultimately “cast a cloud” over the agency, it also found that the specific prosecutorial decisions reviewed in the Clinton case were “consistent” with precedent and not affected by bias or other improper actions.
Unfortunately, some of my Republican colleagues have chosen to ignore the Inspector General’s findings and have instead pressured Speaker Ryan to bring an unenforceable, partisan resolution to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives demanding the DOJ hand over sensitive documents relating to the Mueller investigation and the handling of the Clinton email probe. This resolution repeatedly accuses the DOJ of “non-compliance” with House subpoenas and requires the agency to turn over all requested documents by July 6th, 2018. These documents would reveal the identity of the informant used by the FBI, which could imperil the individual’s safety.
Russia poses the greatest threat to our national security. I voted against this resolution because at a time when Democrats and Republicans should come together to combat Russian efforts to undermine our democracy, we are instead engaging in political theater that does nothing to protect our elections from future interference.