U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, on June 11 issued a statement on the Department of Justice announcement that the agency’s inspector general will investigate reports that the department inappropriately targeted individuals associated with the House Intelligence Committee.
“I applaud the decision of the attorney general to request an inspector general investigation, and the IG’s commitment to proceed and probe the abuse of the department’s investigatory powers against Congress and the press,” Schiff said.
“This is an important first step, following yesterday’s report of the unprecedented decision to subpoena records regarding members of Congress, congressional staff and their family members, including a minor child,” Schiff added. “But this incident must be viewed in the context of the systemic politicization of the department and its mission and other flagrant abuses — including the personal intervention of then-President [Donald] Trump in choosing targets of investigation and the intercession of former Attorney General [William] Barr to reduce the sentence or dismiss cases against those who lied to cover up for themselves and the former president, among other matters.
“As crucial as it will be, the IG’s investigation will not obviate the need for other forms of oversight and accountability – including public oversight by Congress – and the department must cooperate in that effort as well,” Schiff said. “In the meantime, the attorney general needs to do a full damage assessment of the conduct of the department over the last four years and outline all of the accountability and mitigation necessary to protect the public going forward.”
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