House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte announced Tuesday morning they have officially opened a joint investigation into decisions made at the Obama Justice Department surrounding the FBI's criminal investigation into former Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. They also want to know why the FBI kept quiet about ongoing investigations into members of the Trump campaign, like Paul Manafort, while publicly discussing the Clinton probe.
"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 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," Gowdy and Goodlatte released in a statement. "Decisions made by the Department of Justice in 2016 have led to a host of outstanding questions that must be answered."
The Committees will investigate the following:
-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; and
-FBI's timeline in respect to charging decisions.
"The Committees will review these decisions and others to better understand the reasoning behind how certain conclusions were drawn. Congress has a constitutional duty to preserve the integrity of our justice system by ensuring transparency and accountability of actions taken," the statement continues.
The Department of Justice and FBI have come under extra scrutiny in recent months after it was revealed former FBI Director James Comey drafted a letter exonerating Clinton long before agents were finished with their investigation. The letter was also drafted before Clinton and her top aides were interviewed for the case.
Comey was fired in May after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded he had usurped his authority by publicly announcing Clinton's exoneration.