Two House Panels Launch Investigation Into FBI’s 2016 Decisions

Goodlatte, Gowdy: ‘Host of outstanding questions that must be answered’

Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.), and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.) / Getty Images

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Two key House committees have launched a joint investigation into decisions the Department of Justice made in 2016 during the presidential election.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, (R., Va.) and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.) announced the probe on Tuesday.

Without mentioning then-FBI Director James Comey by name, the lawmakers said it would review several decisions the FBI made last year dealing with the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified material while secretary of State, as well as its probe of campaign associates of then-candidate Donald Trump and their ties to Russia.

"Our justice system is represented by a blind-folded woman holding a set of scales," Goodlatte and Gowdy said in a joint statement. "Those scales do not tip to the right or the left; they do not recognize wealth, power, or social status."

"The impartiality of our justice system is the bedrock of our republic and our fellow citizens must have confidence in its objectivity, independence, and evenhandedness," they continued. "The law is the most equalizing force in this country. No entity or individual is exempt from oversight."

The pair said decisions the Justice Department made in 2016 have led to a "host of outstanding questions that must be answered."

Those questions, they said, include, but are not limited to several areas:

  • FBI's decision to publicly announce the investigation into Secretary Clinton's handling of classified information but not to publicly announce the investigation into campaign associates of then-candidate Donald Trump;
  • FBI's decision to notify Congress by formal letter of the status of the investigation both in October and November of 2016;
  • FBI's decision to appropriate full decision making in respect to charging or not charging Secretary Clinton to the FBI rather than the DOJ;
  • FBI's timeline in respect to charging decisions.

The pair said they will review these decisions and others better understand the reasoning behind how "certain conclusions were drawn."

"Congress has a constitutional duty to preserve the integrity of our justice system by ensuring transparency and accountability of actions taken," they said.

Susan Crabtree

Susan Crabtree   Email Susan | Full Bio | RSS
Susan Crabtree is a senior writer for the Washington Free Beacon. She is a veteran Washington reporter who has covered the White House and Congress over the past two decades. She has written for the Washington Examiner, the Washington Times, the Hill newspaper, Roll Call, and Congressional Quarterly.

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