The long-awaited showdown between the Justice Department and Congress is finally here.
It started late Friday afternoon. While the rest of the country was parsing the just-released report on the FBI from the Justice Department’s inspector general, senior congressional leaders and selected committee chairmen quietly met with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at a secure location in the basement of the Capitol.
At issue was Justice and FBI’s continuing defiance of congressional subpoenas. At the top of this list is the demand from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence for documents about why and whether the FBI had an informant insinuating himself with Trump campaign officials before the Russia investigation officially started.
On Sunday on Fox News, Devin Nunes, the House Intel chairman, made clear his “patience has run out.” The good news is that he and the other House chairmen at the Friday meeting—Judiciary’s Bob Goodlatte and Oversight and Government Reform’s Trey Gowdy —were fully backed up in their demands by Speaker Paul Ryan. Mr. Ryan sent Messrs. Rosenstein and Wray an unambiguous message: Comply with Congress’s orders this week.