By MARY CLARE JALONICK
WASHINGTON (AP) — As close associates of President Donald Trump are questioned as part of congressional investigations into Russia’s election interference, House Republicans announced two probes looking back at the Obama administration, including the renewed examination of Democrat Hillary Clinton’s emails.
The announcements Tuesday, coming amid private interviews with the president’s personal lawyer and his former campaign digital director, appear aimed at diverting attention away from congressional probes into potential coordination between the Kremlin and associates of the Trump campaign.
The Republican leaders of the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform panels said in a statement they were opening investigations into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation and the decision not to prosecute her — the subject of hourslong congressional hearings last year. The Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, also announced a separate investigation into a uranium deal brokered during President Barack Obama’s tenure.
House Judiciary Chairman Robert Goodlatte, R-Va., and Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said the inquiry will be aimed at the FBI and its decisions in the Clinton investigation. Ousted FBI Director James Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch spoke at length to Congress about that investigation last year, and it’s the subject of an ongoing review by the Justice Department’s inspector general. The two panels have declined to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections, leaving those probes to Senate committees and the House intelligence committee.
Nunes has separately signed off on subpoenas that sought the banking records of Fusion GPS, the political research firm behind a dossier of allegations about Trump’s connections to Russia. A lawyer for the firm said in a statement Tuesday the subpoena was “overly broad” and without any legitimate purposes.
Associated Press writers Chad Day and Eric Tucker contributed to this report.