The FBI on Tuesday announced it was doubling the number of staffers working on preparing documents requested by the House Judiciary Committee chairman, who last week issued a subpoena to the Justice Department as part of his effort to gather more information on some of the agency’s most high-profile controversies.
In a statement, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the bureau would double, from 27 to 54, the number of staffers working on fulfilling requests from Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.
The Judiciary Committee chairman is seeking a bevy of materials on the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the investigation into former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and the role a controversial dossier played in helping the FBI obtain a warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
On Thursday, he issued a subpoena to the Justice Department, complaining it had produced no documents in response to one of his requests and only a “fraction” of what it had turned over to its own inspector general.
Wray said in his statement Tuesday that there were probably thousands of documents that were relevant to Goodlatte’s requests, though he conceded, “I agree that the current pace of production is too slow.” He said the 54 FBI employees would cover two shifts per day, from 8 a.m. to midnight, to “expedite completion of this project.”
The Justice Department on Tuesday also responded to Goodlatte’s subpoena, writing in a letter that most of the documents were at the FBI but that officials would work to produce them as quickly as possible.
The letter, signed by Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd, asserted that some documents already had been made available to Goodlatte’s staff and that others were being requested for the first time in the subpoena. Boyd wrote that was a “significant deviation” from the traditional process in which legislators ask for materials before using their subpoena power.
Spokesmen for Goodlatte did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Matt Zapotosky