Grassley Threatens Subpoenas For FBI Officials Over Questions On Comey Firing

Bill Clark/CQPHO

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said his staff is preparing subpoenas for two FBI officials whom he wants to answer questions about the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

The Justice Department has thus far prevented the two officials, Carl Ghattas and James Rybicki, from appearing before the committee despite Grassley and ranking member Sen. Diane Feinstein’s (D-CA) requests, CNN reported.

Grassley told CNN Wednesday: “We’ve got subpoenas at the Senate counsel office.”

“When we get done there, I’m gonna have to consult with Sen. Feinstein,” he added.

Taylor Foy, press secretary for the committee, told TPM in an email Thursday that “the subpoenas have not yet been sent and the Committee is continuing to work with the Justice Department to obtain voluntary cooperation.”

The Judiciary Committee in July reportedly subpoenaed the co-founder of the firm behind the still-largely-unsubstantiated dossier that detailed potential Russian leverage on Donald Trump, Fusion GPS. That subpoena was eventually withdrawn, and Simpson later testified privately before the committee.

Grassley has also floated the possibility of subpoenaing former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, whose lawyers Grassley says have been unresponsive to the committee’s requests. On Wednesday, though, Grassley mused that he didn’t “know whether it’s worth issuing subpoenas when somebody’s been indicted.”

The chairman was likely referring to reports that members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team warned Manafort that he would be indicted on possible tax and financial crimes following a pre-dawn raid on his Alexandria, Virginia home in July.

This post has been updated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.

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