“This country is being hurt by it. We are being divided,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) said of Mueller’s investigation. “Whatever you got,” Gowdy added, “Finish it the hell up because this country is being torn apart.”
Rosenstein, who lost his cool at times, raised his voice and wagged his finger while defending himself and the department against allegations of stonewalling. The Justice Department officials claimed despite Republican allegations, he was “not trying to hide anything.”
“We are not in contempt of this Congress, and we are not going to be in contempt of this Congress,” Rosenstein told lawmakers.
Underscoring their merited frustration, Republicans briefly put the hearing on hold so they could approve a resolution on the House floor demanding that the Justice Department turn over thousands of documents within a seven day period.
The resolution that passed along party lines Thursday demanded that the department turn over by July 6 documents on FBI investigations into Clinton’s private email use and Trump campaign ties to Russia. Both investigations unfolded during the presidential election, causing the FBI — which prides itself on independence — to become entangled in presidential politics in ways that are continuing to shake out. Meadows, one of the resolution’s sponsors, did not deny Democratic assertions that the document requests were related to efforts to undercut Mueller’s probe.
“Yes, when we get these documents, we believe that it will do away with this whole fiasco of what they call the Russian Trump collusion because there wasn’t any,” he said on the House floor.
The House judiciary and intelligence panels, which have subpoenaed the documents, want to use the records for congressional investigations into the FBI’s decision to clear Clinton in the email probe and its opening of an investigation into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia. The Justice Department has already turned over more than 800,000 documents to congressional committees, yet the subpoenas seek additional materials, including records about any surveillance of Trump campaign associates.