Two top committee chairmen are on the hunt for possible bias in the FBI, requesting Tuesday interviews with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, FBI chief of staff Jim Rybicki, and Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer who traded anti-Trump text messages with a fellow member of the FBI who had been working as part of the special counsel Russian inquiry.
In a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., outlined information they are seeking in a joint investigation to determine what role Department of Justice and FBI officials played in various investigations.
“Among other things, the Committees are investigating the circumstances surrounding the FBI’s decision to publicly announce the investigation into former Secretary Clinton’s handling of classified information, but not to publicly announce the investigation into campaign associates of then-candidate Donald Trump,” the letter states. “The FBI’s decision to notify Congress by letter of the status of the investigation both in October and November of 2016; the FBI’s decision to appropriate from DOJ the decision-making authority with respect to charging or not charging former Secretary Clinton; and the FBI’s timeline with respect to charging decisions.”
The letter requests the Department of Justice allow the three officials to be available for transcribed interviews beginning on Thursday.
BREAKING: Judiciary and oversight committee chairmen @BobGoodlatte6 and @TGowdySC ask the FBI to make three agents — Andrew MCCABE, Jim RYBICKI and Lisa PAGE — available to testify as early as Thursday.
Could be a precursor to subpoenas. pic.twitter.com/z1DfQI6Syi— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) December 20, 2017
Several Republicans have called for McCabe to be replaced or subpoenaed after it was uncovered that anti-Trump text messages were exchanged between FBI officials.
Earlier Tuesday, McCabe testified before the House Intelligence Committee and addressed how the FBI may have used the findings of the so-called “Trump dossier,” which contained scandalous and unverified claims about Trump's ties to Russia, and potential bias that existed among FBI staff members.
“Andrew McCabe cuts across every facet of every investigation in 2016 that your viewers are interested in from Secretary [Hillary] Clinton’s emails to the investigation into the Trump campaign,” Gowdy told Fox News on Tuesday.
Earlier this month it was revealed that Peter Strzok, a top FBI counterintelligence agent who was part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia inquiry team, had exchanged anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton text messages with his alleged mistress, Page, a lawyer who had also worked for Mueller into the summer.
Strzok was reportedly removed from Mueller’s team in August and moved to a human resources position after it was revealed he and Page “exchanged text messages during the Clinton investigation and campaign season in which they expressed anti-Trump sentiments and other comments that appeared to favor Clinton.”
Strzok was also a lead investigator in the investigation into Clinton's unauthorized private email server.
Republicans claim that this bias has influenced the FBI and Mueller's investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin in 2016.
The messages were revealed as part of an inspector general investigation concerning the FBI’s behavior during the 2016 election.