House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) has been butting heads with Justice Department officials over subpoenas he issued last summer for highly classified FBI documents tied to the dossier on President Trump and Russia compiled last year by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele. After Nunes threatened contempt of Congress citations against Justice Department leaders last month, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray requested a meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) Wednesday evening; after the meeting, Nunes said Rosenstein had agreed to give him "access to the documents over the coming days."
At the meeting with Ryan, "Rosenstein and Wray wanted to make one last effort to persuade him to support their position," CNN reports:
The documents in dispute were mostly FBI investigative documents that are considered law enforcement sensitive and are rarely released or shared outside the bureau. During the meeting, however, it became clear that Ryan wasn't moved and the officials wouldn't have his support if they proceeded to resist Nunes' remaining highly classified requests. ... The Justice Department and the FBI also had learned recently that the White House wasn't going to assert executive privilege or otherwise intervene to try to stop Nunes. [CNN]
House Intelligence Committee members will reportedly be allowed to view the documents in a secure facility at the Justice Department. The Justice Department also agreed to let Nunes' committee interview a host of DOJ and FBI officials in January, including FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page, ex-members of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team whose released text messages were critical of Trump and other politicians.
Nunes, a member of Trump's transition team, appeared to have recused himself from the House Intelligence Committee's investigation of Russia last spring, but he has remained involved, issuing subpoenas and leading a GOP subset of the committee in an investigation of the Justice Department and FBI that, Politico says, has divided Republicans and infuriated Democrats.