Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) today issued the following statement on the announcement from the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General that it will investigate the Justice Department’s and FBI’s compliance with legal requirements and procedures in applications filed with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court relating to Carter Page and the FBI’s relationship with Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS:

“I welcome the announcement from the Inspector General’s office that it will investigate potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and use of political opposition research to obtain a warrant to surveil a U.S. person. However, this is not a substitute for a Special Counsel to investigate this and other matters, including decisions made and not made by the Justice Department in 2016 and 2017, and evidence of bias by DOJ and FBI employees in charging decisions. For instance, the IG’s office does not have authority to compel witness interviews, including from past employees, so its investigation will be limited in scope in comparison to a Special Counsel investigation. The American people demand that the intelligence community, law enforcement, and the courts operate fairly and impartially, and a Special Counsel should be named expeditiously to determine whether these institutions lived up to their expected standards.”

Background: Earlier this month, Chairmen Goodlatte and Gowdy called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint a Special Counsel to review evidence of bias by any employee or agent of the DOJ, FBI, or other agencies; the decisions to charge or not charge and whether those decisions were made consistent with the applicable facts, the applicable law, and traditional investigative and prosecutorial policies and procedures; and whether the FISA process employed in the fall of 2016 and continuing into 2017 was lawful and pursuant to all relevant policies and procedures.

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