(Bloomberg) -- House Republicans Thursday subpoenaed Justice Department documents tied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s abandoned inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s private email use and last week’s firing of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.
"Given the department’s ongoing delays in producing these documents, I am left with no choice but to issue the enclosed subpoena to compel production of these documents," wrote Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Top Judiciary Committee Democrat Jerrold Nadler of New York dismissed the Republican subpoena as a maneuver to divert attention from the "chaos" surrounding the Trump administration.
For four months both the Judiciary Committee, and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, have been conducting an investigation into how the FBI handled the Clinton email case during the 2016 election campaign -- and ultimately dropped it. They have said one issue is whether bias against Donald Trump played a role.
Some of the documents being sought in Goodlatte’s subpoena have already been turned over, but not all. He also wants more information on possible law enforcement abuses of federal surveillance warrants.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said last Friday night that he had made the decision to fire McCabe -- less than two days before the deputy director was to retire -- based on a recommendation from the bureau’s Office of Professional Responsibility.
The office said that McCabe had not been forthcoming about authorizing discussions with a reporter regarding a pending investigation.
Clinton Email Connection
Goodlatte, in his letter to the Justice Department on Thursday, said the office’s recommendation to dismiss McCabe "appears to be based, at least in part," on events related to the investigation surrounding Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
Nadler, in response, said the department had been "transmitting new documents to the committee every two weeks since late last year."
"It seems that this subpoena is intended to speed up that production to pivot the discussion back to Hillary Clinton and divert attention from the chaos surrounding the Trump administration and allegations involving the Trump campaign," said Nadler, in a statement.
Trump, who had been attacking McCabe for months on Twitter, applauded his firing. In his own statement, McCabe attributed his dismissal to an effort by the administration to discredit him, in part because of events he witnessed and the role he played after Trump’s firing of James Comey as FBI director.
"This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally," McCabe said in the statement.
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