House Republicans are headed toward a showdown with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI if they fail to comply with a subpoena request to turn over documents by the end of this week now that the GOP leadership has joined in the fight over the issue, The Hill reported.
While President Donald Trump's allies in Congress, such as House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, have long called for DOJ officials to be punished over the issue, this is the first time that Republican leadership has threatened the department if it doesn't hand over documents more quickly.
House Speaker Paul Ryan made it clear that "there's going to be action on the floor of the House this week if FBI and DOJ do not comply with our subpoena request," Gowdy told Fox News.
"We're going to get compliance, or the House of Representatives is going to use its full arsenal of constitutional weapons to gain compliance."
The House Judiciary Committee has demanded more than one million documents from the FBI and DOJ relating to the Hillary Clinton email investigation, the firing of former top FBI official Andrew McCabe, and reported surveillance of a Trump aide during the 2016 presidential election.
The agencies say that fulfilling the request takes time due to a review of the sensitive documents, but Republicans accuse the agencies of stalling.
Democrats say the entire Republican maneuver is merely a strategy aimed at publicly discrediting special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to Politico.
The new warning from Republican leadership follows a scathing report from the Justice Department's inspector general released last week that criticized the FBI's actions during the 2016 presidential race and prompted both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to urge a rapid end to the investigation.
The tide in the GOP has apparently changed now that Republicans are growing increasingly impatient with the Russia probe and poll numbers show waning public support for the investigation.
Previously, the GOP leadership was concerned that aggressive moves against DOJ and FBI officials, while firing up the conservative base, could but turn off moderate and independent voters in the midterm elections.
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