The chairmen of two House committees announced on Tuesday the launch of a joint investigation into the FBI‘s handling of its probe into Hillary Clinton‘s use of private email for State Department business and its inquiry into members of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), chairman of the House Oversight Committee said the inquiry into America’s top law enforcement agency is an attempt to restore Americans’ faith in the “impartiality of our justice system,” as Politico first reported.
“Our justice system is represented by a blind-folded woman holding a set of scales. Those scales do not tip to the right or the left; they do not recognize wealth, power, or social status,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement. “The impartiality of our justice system is the bedrock of our republic and our fellow citizens must have confidence in its objectivity, independence, and evenhandedness. The law is the most equalizing force in this country. No entity or individual is exempt from oversight.”
Republicans have continued to focus on the FBI’s handling of the Clinton probe, which ended just prior to the 2016 presidential election, due to former FBI Director James Comey‘s decision to announce that he would not recommend the Justice Department charge Clinton or her staff for sending classified documents over the former secretary of state’s private email system.
Goodlatte’s office said the inquiry will address the following issues:
FBI’s decision to publicly announce the investigation into Secretary Clinton’s handling of classified information but not to publicly announce the investigation into campaign associates of then-candidate Donald Trump;
FBI’s decision to notify Congress by formal letter of the status of the investigation both in October and November of 2016;
FBI’s decision to appropriate full decision-making in respect to charging or not charging Secretary Clinton to the FBI rather than the DOJ;
FBI’s timeline in respect to charging decisions.
President Trump has consistently dismissed the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation into Russia—which includes probes into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow and whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey in May—as a “hoax” and “fake news.”