The Department of Justice has agreed to turn over all documents related to the controversial dossier to the House Intelligence Committee after four months of wrangling and legal threats ended in a Wednesday night phone call and agreement.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-CA, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein spoke at length Wednesday night, just hours before Nunes’ imposed midnight deadline on the Justice Department passed.
Rosenstein not only agreed to provide all the documents requested, which include unredacted FBI interviews with witnesses, as well as access to eight key FBI and DOJ witnesses but information on Andrew Weissmann, who’s now a senior member of the special counsel.
Moreover, the committee notes that the Justice Department is “researching records related to the details of an April 2017 meeting between DOJ Attorney Andrew Weissmann (now the senior attorney for Special Counsel Robert Mueller) and the media, which will also be provided to this Committee by close of business on Thursday, January 11, 2018.” Weissmann, who is considered a top criminal prosecutor, was described in a New York Times report as Mueller’s “legal Pit Bull.”
Justice Department officials could not be immediately reached for comment.
Judicial Watch, a government watchdog group, released multiple internal Justice Department emails in early December, showing senior employees of the Justice Department lavishing praise on then-former acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she defied President Donald Trump’s January, 2017, travel ban executive order.
“I am so proud,” Weissmann told Yates in an email. Weissmann, who joined Mueller’s team in June, was was then a top prosecutor in the Justice Department’s criminal division. “And in awe. Thank you so much. All my deepest respects.” Yates was fired by Trump for her insubordination.
The committee will review all documents to include “FBI Form FD- 1023s and all remaining FBI Form FD- 302s responsive to the Committee’s August 24, 2017 subpoenas,” the letter states. The FD-302 forms are the reported summaries of interviews conducted by the FBI.
Nunes states there is only one “agreed-upon exception pertains to a single FD-302, which, due to national security interests, will be shown separately by (FBI) Director (Christopher) Wray to myself and my senior investigators during the week of January 8, 2018.”
He added that the committee “is extremely concerned by indications that top U.S. Government officials who were investigating a presidential campaign relied on unverified information that was funded by the opposing political campaign and was based on Russian sources.”
The salacious and unsubstantiated dossier was compiled by former British MI-6 spy Christopher Steele, who was paid by the security firm Fusion GPS. The Washington Post revealed in October, the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign paid Fusion GPS for the opposition research conducted by Steele.
Nunes had originally issued subpoenas for the documents and records on Aug. 24, but committee staff told this reporter they had been “stonewalled” by both the FBI and Justice Department for months.
“Going forward, it’s crucial that we memorialize our conversations on this issue, and that we’re as transparent as possible with the American people, who deserve answers to the questions the Committee is investigating,” Nunes states.