Political News

Top Judiciary Democrat demands answers as party prepares for majority

Posted November 13, 2018 5:33 p.m. EST

— In a letter Tuesday, House Judiciary Committee top Democrat Jerry Nadler asked acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and FBI Director Christopher Wray to respond to a "back log of unanswered requests" Democrats have been making over the last two years related to how the White House has interacted with the Justice Department.

Nadler asked that Whitaker and Wray respond with answers by December 31, a sign of the kind of oversight Democrats plan to pursue in coming months.

"Between now and the end of the 115th Congress, I ask that you work with me and other members of the committee to address this backlog. Over the coming days, I expect to correspond with you on a number of our highest priority requests," Nadler wrote. "I write with growing concern over President Trump's repeated attacks on the integrity of (the) Department of Justice and the FBI -- including, but not limited to, his decision to fire former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, his frequent statement about ongoing criminal investigations, and his personal attacks on senior department officials."

Nadler's Tuesday letter includes several prior requests he'd already made, but were ignored because Democrats were in the minority. Nadler's letter is the first of several expected to be aimed at getting answers before Democrats take the House in January. The letter gives a road map into the kinds of things that Nadler and Democrats will be interested in investigating when they assume power next year.

Nadler wants the administration to respond to questions about Sessions' recusal from the Russia investigation and allegations that former FBI Director James Comey made about the President among several other letters.

"Over the course of the last Congress, in the absence of meaningful oversight, the problem has only worsened. The President has called the Special Counsel's investigation a 'witch hunt; at least 84 times this year. He has identified the investigation as a significant threat to his Administration, stating that he wants I stopped," Nadler wrote. "The House Judiciary Committee has an obligation to examine these actions and assess their impact on both the operation of the Department and the fair administration of justice. Accordingly, I ask that you provide a complete response to each of the letters on this subject sent to you by some or all of the Members of this Committee."