People and Congress have a right to see what the Justice Department is concealing

Federal prosecutors are upset that Congress, whose job literally includes oversight of the Justice Department and FBI, want DOJ to “open our doors.”

Political interference in an investigation is a threat, and Congress needs to be careful to avoid that. But that doesn’t justify stonewalling of Congress by the FBI, the DOJ, and the special prosecutor. Congress, elected by the people, has oversight authority over these executive agencies, and it’s dangerous when prosecutors behave as though they are above the people.

Congress, as is its right and duty, has demanded documents and information from Justice. DOJ, as is normal for executive agencies irritated by Congress, resisted and slow-walked the document production, often offering worries about national security secrets.

Watch Full Screen to Skip Ads

When some of these documents came to light, it became clear that Justice wasn’t protecting sources and methods. What they wereprotecting is a matter of conjecture, but the suspicion is that they were protecting their topmost management.

The DOJ did not want former FBI Director James Comey’s memos about his meetings with President Trump (beyond those that he and his friends had already leaked to the press) to be made public. The DOJ didn’t want it known that the so-called Russian dossier, containing salacious allegations against Trump, was a piece of opposition research for Hillary Clinton and was probably the main foundation for its wiretap application on Trump associate Carter Page.

So while there are valid reasons for Justice to tell Congress to butt out, there are also invalid reasons, and we’ve seen those in the current investigation.

Without delving too deeply into the weeds of the Russia-collusion-Comey imbroglio, a general point needs to be kept in mind. Our massive sprawling federal bureaucracy, from the DOJ to the DOD, to EPA to the IRS, is too unaccountable to the institutions of democracy. The bureaucracy is substituting government by officialdom for government by the people.

The problem does not have to be as extensive and dangerous as is suspected by those who believe in a biased “Deep State” conspiracy against the elected president. But even so, bureaucrats, prosecutors, and Cabinet officials who see themselves as the well-meaning experts rather than as public servants are a problem. Their mindset sees democratic accountability as an irritant and a roadblock to smart policymaking or necessary police powers. It’s an understanding of government that paints the representatives of the people as barbarians at the gates.

The other half of the problem is Congress, which sacrifices its powers of oversight by abusing it for partisan ends and by abandoning it out of political timidity or lack of attention.

We have repeatedly implored Congress to take up its duty again to provide day-to-day steady oversight of the executive. It doesn’t make the evening news, it doesn’t juice fundraising, and it may not rally voters, but a congressman’s job isn’t about making the evening news, raising money, and getting re-elected.


Most importantly, Congress needs to retake the reins on war. Too few members stood with Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and others who said that Trump needs congressional authorization if he is to attack Syria. Both parties allowed former President Barack Obama to fight the Libya war without authority. This is abuse of the Constitution.

Finally, Congress often uses the excuse of oversight to score political points. But if the choice must be between politicians playing politics and our executive branch officers, especially prosecutors, becoming a law unto themselves, we’ll take the former.

"Enough is Enough" Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows Joins Nunes - Calls For DOJ Officials to be Held in Contempt of Congress (

by Scrooblemeyer to politics (+37|-1)