Congressional investigators are still facing roadblocks over FBI records, despite promises of cooperation from FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, according to a letter obtained by Fox News on Wednesday.
The Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, wrote that he has been denied a clean copy of the 2016 FBI memo that kick-started the Russia counterintelligence investigation — now known as the special counsel’s Russia probe.
“On March 14th, 2018, Committee investigators were given access to a still heavily redacted version of the EC (FBI memo known as an electronic communication), which — as I informed Director Wray the next day via phone — was unsatisfactory,” Nunes, R-Calif., wrote.
“On March 23, 2018, FBI’s Assistant Director for Legislative Affairs informed the Committee that FBI would refuse to further unredact the EC (FBI memo) based on its sensitivity. The document in question is not highly classified, and law enforcement sources have apparently not been shy about leaking to the press information that the Department and Bureau refuse to share with Congress.”
Fox News is told the FBI memo was likely drafted by, or with input from, Agent Peter Strzok in July 2016, when the bureau formally opened its counterintelligence investigation. Strzok was removed from the investigation last year by Special Counsel Robert Mueller after anti-Trump texts between Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page were discovered.
Nunes threatened enforcement of subpoenas that were issued last August if the FBI memo is not provided by April 11. With enforcement of those same subpoenas looming this past January, Nunes, Wray and Rosenstein met. According to the letter, Wray and Rosenstein “expressed a desire to restore a constructive relationship with the Committee, and specifically asked that we seek to proceed on a more informal basis.”
Fox News asked the FBI and Justice Department for comment on the Nunes letter, why a clean copy of the FBI memo was not provided to Congress, and how those actions have been consistent with the stated commitment from Wray and Rosenstein to cooperate with Congress.
"The FBI received the referenced letter from Chairman Nunes, and we are reviewing it to determine next steps. As a general matter, before FBI records may be released outside the FBI, to include to Congressional committees, they must first undergo our standard review and redaction process to ensure that statutorily restricted information (such as grand jury material), classified material, sensitive law enforcement material, and other privileged material is not improperly disclosed,” an FBI spokesperson told Fox News.
The Justice Department did not respond.