Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray are testifying Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee. The Republican majority is likely to grill the two men about a report that exposed federal agents’ misconduct in their probe of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said the 9:30 a.m. hearing will focus on the report released in June from the Justice Department’s internal watchdog, Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
The testimony will provide the first opportunity to hear public comments on that report from Rosenstein, who wrote a letter to President Donald Trump in May 2017 recommending FBI Director James Comey be fired because of his handling of the Clinton investigation.
Rosenstein also oversees special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, which has come under fire from conservatives in the wake of Horowitz’s report — especially from Trump, who has used its criticisms of Comey and the FBI as evidence of political bias within federal law enforcement agencies.
Trump has homed in on the text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and another FBI official with whom he was having an affair, Lisa Page, that appeared to show hostility against Trump and support for Clinton. The inspector general’s report revealed new messages from Strzok, with one assuring Page before the 2016 election that “we’ll stop” Trump from winning.
Strzok, one of the bureau’s top counterintelligence officials, briefly worked on Mueller’s investigation into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia in 2017. He was reportedly removed from the special counsel’s probe after Mueller was made aware of his texts.
Wray’s and Rosenstein’s testimony on Thursday arrives a day after Strzok spoke to lawmakers from both parties in a closed-door hearing.
The two law enforcement officials will also be asked about the findings from a joint House investigation on the email probe, which is being conducted by the House Judiciary and Oversight committees.
Republicans have sparred with Rosenstein over access to thousands of documents related to the various federal investigations. Rosenstein has accommodated some requests but has resisted others, leading to an expected House vote on Thursday on a resolution demanding that the DOJ hand over many requested documents by July 6.