Grassley Frustrated With FBI for Not Providing Info to Congress

May 3, 2017

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, became frustrated with FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday for being denied access to documents that he believed should have been turned over to him.

Grassley pointed out the FBI filed a declaration in court because of lawsuits related to Freedom of Information Act requests for Hillary Clinton's emails. The senator said a grand jury had subpoenaed the emails in question but he has not received them even though FOIA requests were acknowledged. Grassley said this indicates private citizens appear to have easier access to information than a congressional committee with subpoena powers.

"Why does the FBI give more information to someone who files a lawsuit than to an oversight committee in the Congress? And that has happened to me several times," Grassley said.

Comey disagreed, saying that he could not distinguish the two types of individual requests in question.

"If I, Chuck Grassley, as a private citizen, file a Freedom of Information Act and you give me more information than you give to Sen. Chuck Grassley, how do you justify that?" Grassley asked.

Comey said that it was a good question, seemingly frustrating Grassley even more.

"What do you mean it's a good question? How do you justify it?" Grassley asked again.

"I can't as I sit here," Comey said.