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Congress Threatens to Hold Top DOJ, FBI Officials in Contempt for Obstructing Russia Investigation

Rep. Devin Nunes

Rep. Devin Nunes (R., Calif.), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, has threatened to hold top Department of Justice and FBI officials in contempt of Congress for failing to provide lawmakers with key information relating to the probe into possible collusion between the Trump administration and Russia.

The threat follows new revelations that Peter Strzok, a top FBI official assigned to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, had been removed from the case after evidence was presented showing he exchanged anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton text messages with colleagues.

Nunes said in a statement following the disclosure that both the DOJ and FBI have withheld key information from Congress, despite several subpoenas.

"I have instructed House Intelligence Committee staff to begin drawing up a contempt of Congress resolution for DOJ Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray," Nunes threatened in his statement.

"Unless all our outstanding demands are fully met by close of business on Monday, December 4, 2017, the committee will have the opportunity to move this resolution before the end of the month," the lawmaker said.

Nunes claims the FBI and DOJ have obstructed Congress's independent investigation into alleged Russia collusion.

"The FBI and Department of Justice have failed to sufficiently cooperate with the Committee's August 24 subpoena, and have specifically refused repeated demands from the House Intelligence Committee for an explanation of Pete Strzok's dismissal from the Mueller probe," Nunes said.

"We now know why Strzok was dismissed, why the FBI and DOJ refused to provide us this explanation, and at least one reason why they previously refused to make Deputy Director McCabe available to the Committee for an interview," Nunes said.

"By hiding from Congress, and from the American people, documented political bias by a key FBI head investigator for both the Russia collusion probe and the Clinton email investigation, the FBI and DOJ engaged in a willful attempt to thwart Congress' constitutional oversight responsibility," according to Nunes.

"This is part of a months-long pattern by the DOJ and FBI of stonewalling and obstructing this Committee's oversight work, particularly oversight of their use of the Steele dossier," the statement added. "At this point, these agencies should be investigating themselves.