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The Journal Gazette

Friday, September 28, 2018 1:00 am

House panel subpoenas FBI documents

Seeks memos on former Trump adviser Page

Karoun Demirjian | Washington Post

WASHINGTON – The House Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena Thursday for former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe's memos as well as the supporting documents the FBI used in its application to conduct surveillance on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Republicans requested McCabe's memos from the Justice Department over the summer and were told they would not be shared, according to several lawmakers. But the revelation last week that McCabe suggested in his memos that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein considered recording President Donald Trump in an apparent effort to remove him from office put new urgency behind the GOP's desire to see the documents.

Rosenstein has denied he made any such suggestion. The White House said this week that Rosenstein would meet with Trump on Thursday to discuss the reports, but the meeting was postponed until next week.

Conservative lawmakers have recently weighed pushing for a vote on a resolution to impeach Rosenstein, after failing to secure such a measure over the summer. Some, such as Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a leader of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, have also called for Rosenstein to resign if he is not willing to come to Capitol Hill and explain himself. On Thursday, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a Freedom Caucus co-founder, said lawmakers were “moving in a good direction” toward securing Rosenstein's testimony “soon.”

The Judiciary Committee's subpoena does not include a summons for Rosenstein. It does also demand that the Justice Department furnish “all documents supporting” claims the FBI made in its application to conduct surveillance on Page, as well as documents from the department's investigation of Russian interference during the 2016 elections that were previously shared with the “Gang of Eight” – a bipartisan group of congressional and intelligence committee leaders who receive the highest-level classified intelligence briefings in Congress.

A group of conservative Republicans, including Meadows and Jordan, had requested that Trump declassify those documents, as well as parts of the actual application to surveil Page. The president initially agreed to do so but then reneged several days later, after allies impressed upon him that it would be a dangerous move.

Leading Democrats, who had also warned against declassifying the materials, because of national security concerns, stressed again Thursday that the materials contained too much sensitive information to be shared with the panels.

Trump's about-face had “not stopped the President's enablers in Congress from trying to obtain these documents themselves so that they can selectively leak and misrepresent the information they contain in an attempt to undermine the Special Counsel's investigation,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement Thursday.