After last week’s dramatic testimony by former FBI director James Comey before the Senate Intelligence Committee about alleged Russian tampering in last year’s U.S. presidential election, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s considering issuing subpoenas to call more people before his Judiciary Committee.
Grassley, a Republican, says he’s working closely with California Democrat Dianne Feinstein on the process. “This is going to be, for the most part, a bipartisan approach of getting not just hearings, and that means people before our committee, but maybe documents and letters and memos and stuff like that.”
Feinstein has reportedly asked Grassley to subpoena the heads of National Intelligence and the NSA as well as Comey himself. Comey rejected an earlier invitation to appear voluntarily before the panel Grassley chairs. Grassley is not committing to a timeline.
“It’s kind of a case of exactly when do you have a hearing?” Grassley says. “When do you subpoena individuals? We’re working through with Senator Feinstein on those points. I don’t know whether we have to be in a hurry but we want to make sure that when we do it, it’s done in a bipartisan way.”
Grassley is considering expanding the scope of the probe into the alleged Russian tampering and says Comey’s testimony before the Intelligence Committee didn’t go far enough. The Judiciary Committee, which Grassley chairs, does oversee the FBI.
Grassley says, “It’ll be thorough and fill in all of the holes that the Intelligence Committee (left), because it has very limited jurisdiction, no oversight per se of the FBI.” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to testify today before the Intelligence Committee. It will be a public hearing, not private, as originally planned.
“If you’re going to get a complete story of everything dealing with Russia and maybe some other things, then we need to have our hearing as well,” Grassley says. Sessions will face serious questions today about his dealings with Russians while he was a campaign advisor to then-candidate Trump, as well as the role he played, if any, in the president’s firing of Comey.