The House Judiciary Committee on Friday sent a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) requesting documents and interviews with former and current department officials over claims of “improper political interference” in the way several department matters have been handled.
The committees chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), said in his letter (pdf) to Attorney General William Barr that the lawmakers are requesting the information in order to fulfill its oversight responsibility. He is specifically asking the attorney general to turn over documents related to several criminal matters, including the sentencing of Trump associate Roger Stone and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and the departments probe into the origins of the 2016 counterintelligence investigation on the Trump campaign.
He is also asking for information in other matters such as the departments handling of antitrust enforcement and the creation of a new process to vet information submitted by anyone, including President Donald Trumps lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Nadler is also requesting testimony or interviews from more than a dozen U.S. attorneys who have knowledge of those criminal and civil matters, including John H. Durham, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, who is leading the probe into the origins of the FBIs Russia investigation, and the four prosecutors who withdrew from Stones case following the departments decision to revise the sentencing recommendation that was deemed “excessive.”
“Our democracy is founded on the notion that no one is above the law, and strict adherence to the rule of law has separated us from all other nations. Attorneys General have supported this principle on a bipartisan basis throughout our history, but that principle is now under assault,” Nadler said in a statement on Friday.
The information request comes about a month before Barr is scheduled to testify before the committee lawmakers on March 31. The lawmakers requested the attorney generals testimony over their claims that Barr had “engaged in a pattern of conduct in legal matters relating to the President that raises significant concerns for this Committee.”
The DOJ came under extensive scrutiny in recent weeks for some of the cases listed in Nadlers letter, such as the Stone case, over concerns that the department was acting based on public statements made by the president.
In the Stone case, prosecutors originally recommended seven to nine years in prison for Stone, who was convicted of lying to and obstructing Congress and witness tampering. The DOJ, however, intervened in the case, calling the recommendation “excessive and unwarranted.”
The department then filed a revised sentencing memorandum that asked for “a sentence of incarceration far less than 87 to 108 months imprisonment,” but did not offer a specific prison recommendation.
The departments announcement to revise their sentencing recommendation came hours after Trump weighed in on Twitter about the seven to nine years recommendation. The departments spokeswoman Kerri Kupec told media outlets that the DOJ didnt consulRead More – Source