President Donald Trump appeared to suggest Wednesday that he may “use the powers granted” to him to push the Department of Justice to release documents relating to the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The president, who last month criticized the DOJ for “slow walking” requests from Republican lawmakers to disclose additional information on the Clinton probe, freshly questioned the pace of the release of documents in a missive.
“A Rigged System - They don’t want to turn over Documents to Congress,” the president tweeted. “What are they afraid of? Why so much redacting? Why such unequal ‘justice?’”
He added: “At some point I will have no choice but to use the powers granted to the Presidency and get involved!”
Amid criticisms from the president and GOP lawmakers over the DOJ’s handling of the probe, the DOJ last month appointed a U.S. attorney to oversee the release of the documents pertaining their investigation into Clinton's private email server.
A Justice Department spokeswoman said that U.S. Attorney John Lausch would direct the DOJ’s process of determining which documents to redact and release. Top DOJ officials cited the fact Lausch was “outside of D.C. and independent of the FBI hierarchy” as part of the rationale behind his selection.
In March, the FBI announced it would double the number of staffers deployed to review the records amid requests from House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) for a more thorough disclosure.
Goodlatte sought information from the bureau pertaining DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s probe into the FBI’s conduct during the Clinton investigation.
But Justice Department officials appear to be losing patience with GOP lawmakers' hard-nosed tactics, including suggestions that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein be impeached for defying requests for congressional oversight.
“There have been people that have been making threats, publicly and privately, against me for quite some time, and I think they should understand by now: The Department of Justice is not going to be extorted,” Rosenstein said on Tuesday during an appearance at the Newseum in Washington. “Any kind of threats that anybody makes are not going to affect the way we do our job. We have a responsibility and we take an oath. That’s the whole point.”