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115th Congress     }                                 {          Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session       }                                 {         115-300
======================================================================

 
   RESOLUTION OF INQUIRY REQUESTING THE PRESIDENT AND DIRECTING THE 
 ATTORNEY GENERAL TO TRANSMIT, RESPECTIVELY, CERTAIN DOCUMENTS TO THE 
  HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES RELATING TO THE REMOVAL OF FORMER FEDERAL 
              BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY

                                _______
                                

 September 8, 2017.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Goodlatte, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                       [To accompany H. Res. 446]

    The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the 
resolution (H. Res. 446) of inquiry requesting the President 
and directing the Attorney General to transmit, respectively, 
certain documents to the House of Representatives relating to 
the removal of former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director 
James Comey, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon with an amendment and recommend that the resolution be 
agreed to.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page

The Amendment....................................................     2
Purpose and Summary..............................................     3
Background and Need for the Legislation..........................     3
Hearings.........................................................     4
Committee Consideration..........................................     4
Committee Votes..................................................     5
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     8
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     8
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     8
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     8
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     8
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     8
Advisory on Earmarks.............................................     9
Section-by-Section Analysis......................................     9
Dissenting Views.................................................     9

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the resolving clause and insert the 
following:

That the President is requested, and Attorney General of the United 
States is directed, to transmit, respectively (in a manner appropriate 
to classified information, if the President or Attorney General 
determines appropriate), to the House of Representatives, not later 
than 60 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution, copies 
of any document, record, audio recording, memo, correspondence, or 
other communication in their possessions, or any portion of any such 
communication, that refers or relates to the firing of James B. Comey 
in the following respects:
          (1) Then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch directing James B. 
        Comey to mislead the American people by stating that he should 
        refer to the investigation into the mishandling of classified 
        data and use of an unauthorized email server by former 
        Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a ``matter'', rather than 
        a criminal ``investigation''.
          (2) Leaks by James B. Comey to Columbia University law 
        professor, Daniel Richman, regarding conversations had between 
        President Donald Trump and then-FBI Director James B. Comey, 
        and how the leaked information was purposefully released to 
        lead to the appointment of special counsel, Robert Mueller, a 
        longtime friend of James B. Comey.
          (3) The propriety and consequence of immunity deals given to 
        possible Hillary Clinton co-conspirators Cheryl Mills, Heather 
        Samuelson, John Bentel, and potentially others, by the Federal 
        Bureau of Investigation, during the criminal investigation 
        James B. Comey led into Hillary Clinton's misconduct.
          (4) The decision by James B. Comey to usurp the authority of 
        then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch in his unusual announcement 
        that criminal charges would not be brought against Hillary 
        Clinton following her unlawful use of a private email server 
        and mishandling of classified information.
          (5) James B. Comey's knowledge and impressions of any ex-
        parte conversation between then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch 
        and former President Bill Clinton on June 27, 2016, at a 
        Phoenix airport on a private jet.
          (6) James B. Comey's knowledge of the company ``Fusion GPS'', 
        including--
                  (A) its creation of a ``dossier'' of information 
                about Mr. Donald Trump;
                  (B) that dossier's commission and dissemination in 
                the months before and after the 2016 Presidential 
                Election; and
                  (C) the intelligence sources of Fusion GPS or any 
                person or company working for Fusion GPS or its 
                affiliates.
          (7) Any and all potential leaks originated by James B. Comey 
        and provided to author Michael Schmidt dating back to 1993.
          (8) James B. Comey's knowledge of--
                  (A) the purchase of a majority stake in the company 
                Uranium One by the company Rosatom;
                  (B) whether the approval of the sale was connected to 
                any donations made to the Clinton Foundation;
                  (C) what role then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 
                played in the approval of that sale; and
                  (D) whether the sale could have affected the national 
                security of the United States of America.
          (9) James B. Comey's refusal to investigate then-Secretary of 
        State Hillary Clinton regarding--
                  (A) selling access to the U.S. State Department 
                through Clinton Foundation donations;
                  (B) Huma Abedin's dual employment at the State 
                Department and the Clinton Foundation simultaneously; 
                or
                  (C) utilization of the State Department to further 
                paid speaking opportunities for her husband.
          (10) Any collusion between former FBI Director James B. Comey 
        and special counsel Robert Mueller; including--
                  (A) the information James B. Comey admitted to 
                leaking to the Columbia University law professor, being 
                intentional such that a special counsel, his longtime 
                friend, Robert Mueller, would be appointed to lead the 
                investigation against the Trump administration; and
                  (B) any communication between Robert Mueller and 
                James B. Comey in advance of the Senate Intelligence 
                Committee hearing.
          (11) Whether James B. Comey had any knowledge of--
                  (A) efforts made by any federal agency--
                          (i) to monitor communications of then-
                        candidate Donald Trump;
                          (ii) to assess any knowledge by James B. 
                        Comey about the ``unmasking'' of individuals on 
                        Donald Trump's campaign team, transition team, 
                        or both;
                          (iii) to assess the role that former National 
                        Security Adviser Susan Rice played in the 
                        unmasking of these individuals; or
                          (iv) to reveal the purpose served by 
                        unmasking any individual or individuals serving 
                        on the staff of then-candidate Donald Trump; or
                  (B) the dissemination of unredacted information to 
                various intelligence agencies, and any attempts to use 
                surveillance of then-candidate Donald Trump for the 
                purposes of damaging the credibility of his campaign, 
                his presidency, or both.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H. Res. 446 is a non-binding resolution of inquiry that 
requests that the Trump Administration provide the House of 
Representatives with certain documents related to the removal 
of former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey.

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    Resolutions of inquiry, if properly drafted, are given 
privileged parliamentary status in the House. This means that, 
under certain circumstances, a resolution of inquiry can be 
considered on the House floor even if the committee to which it 
was referred has not ordered the resolution reported and the 
majority party's leadership has not scheduled it for 
consideration. Clause 7 of rule XIII of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives requires the committee to which the 
resolution is referred to act on the resolution within 14 
legislative days, or a motion to discharge the committee from 
consideration is considered privileged on the floor of the 
House. In calculating the days available for committee 
consideration, the day of introduction and the day of discharge 
are not counted.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Wm. Holmes Brown, et al., House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, 
Precedents, and Procedures of the House ch. 49, Sec.  6, p. 834 (2011).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Under the Rules and precedents of the House, a resolution 
of inquiry is a means by which the House may request 
information from the President or the head of one of the 
executive departments. According to Deschler's Precedents, it 
is a ``simple resolution making a direct request or demand of 
the President or the head of an executive department to furnish 
the House of Representatives with specific factual information 
in the possession of the executive branch.''\2\ Such 
resolutions must ask for facts, documents, or specific 
information; they may not be used to request an opinion or 
require an investigation.\3\ Resolutions of inquiry are not 
akin to subpoenas, they have no legal force, and thus 
compliance by the Executive Branch with the House's request for 
information is purely voluntary.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\7 Deschler's Precedents of the United States House of 
Representatives, H. Doc. No. 94-661, 94th Cong., 2d Sess., ch. 24, 
Sec.  8.
    \3\A resolution that seeks more than factual information does not 
enjoy privileged status. Brown, supra note 1, at 833-34.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    According to a study conducted by the Congressional 
Research Service (CRS), between 1947 and 2011, 290 resolutions 
of inquiry were introduced in the House.\4\ Within this period, 
CRS found that ``two periods in particular, 1971-1975 and 2003-
2006, saw the highest levels of activity on resolutions of 
inquiry'' and that the ``Committees on Armed Services, Foreign 
Affairs, and the Judiciary have received the largest share of 
references.''\5\ CRS further found that ``in recent Congresses, 
such resolutions have overwhelmingly become a tool of the 
minority party in the House.''\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Christopher M. Davis, Congressional Research Service, 
Resolutions of Inquiry: An Analysis of Their Use in the House, 1947-
2011 at i (2012).
    \5\Id.
    \6\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A Committee has a number of choices after a resolution of 
inquiry is referred to it. It may vote on the resolution up or 
down as is or it may amend it, and it may report the resolution 
favorably, unfavorably, or with no recommendation.
    H. Res. 446, as amended in committee, seeks information 
regarding the removal of James B. Comey as Director of the 
Federal Bureau of Investigation, including:
    (1) Then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch directing James B. 
Comey to mislead the American people by stating that he should 
refer to the investigation into the mishandling of classified 
data and use of an unauthorized email server by former 
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a ``matter,'' rather than 
a criminal ``investigation.''
    (2) Leaks by James B. Comey to Columbia University law 
professor, Daniel Richman, regarding conversations had between 
President Donald Trump and then-FBI Director James B. Comey, 
and how the leaked information was purposefully released to 
lead to the appointment of special counsel, Robert Mueller, a 
longtime friend of James B. Comey.
    (3) The propriety and consequence of immunity deals given 
to possible Hillary Clinton co-conspirators by the Federal 
Bureau of Investigation, during the criminal investigation into 
Hillary Clinton's misconduct.
    (4) The decision by James B. Comey to usurp the authority 
of then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch in his unusual 
announcement that criminal charges would not be brought against 
Hillary Clinton following her unlawful use of a private email 
server and mishandling of classified information.
    (5) James B. Comey's knowledge and impressions of any ex-
parte conversation between then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch 
and former President Bill Clinton on June 27, 2016, at a 
Phoenix airport on a private jet.
    (6) James B. Comey's knowledge of the company ``Fusion 
GPS,'' including its creation of a ``dossier'' of information 
about Mr. Donald Trump.
    (7) James B. Comey's refusal to investigate then-Secretary 
of State Hillary Clinton regarding selling access to the U.S. 
State Department through Clinton Foundation donations and 
utilization of the State Department to further paid speaking 
opportunities for her husband.

                                Hearings

    The Committee on the Judiciary held no hearings on H. Res. 
446.

                        Committee Consideration

    On July 26, 2017, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered H. Res. 446 favorably reported by a roll call vote of 
15-13, a quorum being present.

                            Committee Votes

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
following roll call votes occurred during the Committee's 
consideration of H. Res. 446.
    1. Motion to table the appeal of the ruling of the chair. 
Approved 17 to 9.

                             ROLLCALL NO. 1
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Ayes    Nays   Present
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Goodlatte (VA), Chairman...................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Sensenbrenner, Jr. (WI)....................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Smith (TX).................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Chabot (OH)................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Issa (CA)..................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. King (IA)..................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Franks (AZ)................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Gohmert (TX)...............................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Jordan (OH)................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Poe (TX)...................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Marino (PA)................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Gowdy (SC).................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Labrador (ID)..............................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Farenthold (TX)............................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Collins (GA)...............................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. DeSantis (FL)..............................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Buck (CO)..................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Ratcliffe (TX).............................      X   ......  .......
Ms. Roby (AL)..................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Gaetz (FL).................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Johnson (LA)...............................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Biggs (AZ).................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Rutherford (FL)............................      X   ......  .......
Ms. Handel (GA)................................      X   ......  .......
 
Mr. Conyers, Jr. (MI), Ranking Member..........  ......      X   .......
Mr. Nadler (NY)................................  ......      X   .......
Ms. Lofgren (CA)...............................  ......      X   .......
Ms. Jackson Lee (TX)...........................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Cohen (TN).................................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Johnson (GA)...............................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Deutch (FL)................................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Gutierrez (IL).............................  ......  ......  .......
Ms. Bass (CA)..................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Richmond (LA)..............................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Jeffries (NY)..............................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Cicilline (RI).............................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Swalwell (CA)..............................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Lieu (CA)..................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Raskin (MD)................................  ......  ......  .......
Ms. Jayapal (WA)...............................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Schneider (IL).............................  ......      X   .......
                                                ------------------------
    Total......................................     17       9   .......
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2. A substitute amdendment, offered by Mr. Gaetz, that 
enumerates additional topics of inquiry relating to the 2016 
presidential election; former Federal Bureau of Investigation 
Director James Comey; former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 
and her associates; and alleged intelligence-gathering 
activities by former President Barack Obama's administration 
officials. Approved 16 to 13.

                             ROLLCALL NO. 2
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Ayes    Nays   Present
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Goodlatte (VA), Chairman...................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Sensenbrenner, Jr. (WI)....................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Smith (TX).................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Chabot (OH)................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Issa (CA)..................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. King (IA)..................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Franks (AZ)................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Gohmert (TX)...............................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Jordan (OH)................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Poe (TX)...................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Marino (PA)................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Gowdy (SC).................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Labrador (ID)..............................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Farenthold (TX)............................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Collins (GA)...............................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. DeSantis (FL)..............................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Buck (CO)..................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Ratcliffe (TX).............................  ......  ......  .......
Ms. Roby (AL)..................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Gaetz (FL).................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Johnson (LA)...............................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Biggs (AZ).................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Rutherford (FL)............................      X   ......  .......
Ms. Handel (GA)................................      X   ......  .......
 
Mr. Conyers, Jr. (MI), Ranking Member..........  ......      X   .......
Mr. Nadler (NY)................................  ......      X   .......
Ms. Lofgren (CA)...............................  ......      X   .......
Ms. Jackson Lee (TX)...........................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Cohen (TN).................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Johnson (GA)...............................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Deutch (FL)................................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Gutierrez (IL).............................  ......      X   .......
Ms. Bass (CA)..................................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Richmond (LA)..............................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Jeffries (NY)..............................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Cicilline (RI).............................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Swalwell (CA)..............................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Lieu (CA)..................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Raskin (MD)................................  ......      X   .......
Ms. Jayapal (WA)...............................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Schneider (IL).............................  ......      X   .......
                                                ------------------------
    Total......................................     16      13   .......
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    3. Motion to report H. Res. 446 favorably to the House. 
Approved 15 to 13.

                             ROLLCALL NO. 3
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Ayes    Nays   Present
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Goodlatte (VA), Chairman...................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Sensenbrenner, Jr. (WI)....................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Smith (TX).................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Chabot (OH)................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Issa (CA)..................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. King (IA)..................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Franks (AZ)................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Gohmert (TX)...............................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Jordan (OH)................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Poe (TX)...................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Marino (PA)................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Gowdy (SC).................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Labrador (ID)..............................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Farenthold (TX)............................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Collins (GA)...............................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. DeSantis (FL)..............................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Buck (CO)..................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Ratcliffe (TX).............................  ......  ......  .......
Ms. Roby (AL)..................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Gaetz (FL).................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Johnson (LA)...............................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Biggs (AZ).................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Rutherford (FL)............................      X   ......  .......
Ms. Handel (GA)................................      X   ......  .......
 
Mr. Conyers, Jr. (MI), Ranking Member..........  ......      X   .......
Mr. Nadler (NY)................................  ......      X   .......
Ms. Lofgren (CA)...............................  ......      X   .......
Ms. Jackson Lee (TX)...........................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Cohen (TN).................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Johnson (GA)...............................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Deutch (FL)................................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Gutierrez (IL).............................  ......      X   .......
Ms. Bass (CA)..................................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Richmond (LA)..............................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Jeffries (NY)..............................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Cicilline (RI).............................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Swalwell (CA)..............................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Lieu (CA)..................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Raskin (MD)................................  ......      X   .......
Ms. Jayapal (WA)...............................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Schneider (IL).............................  ......      X   .......
                                                ------------------------
    Total......................................     15      13   .......
------------------------------------------------------------------------


                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives is inapplicable because this legislation does 
not provide new budgetary authority or increased tax 
expenditures.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    In compliance with clause 3(d) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee estimates that 
implementing this non-binding resolution would not result in 
any significant costs. The Congressional Budget Office did not 
provide a cost estimate for the resolution.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of H. Res. 446 establishes or reauthorizes a 
program of the Federal government known to be duplicative of 
another Federal program, a program that was included in any 
report from the Government Accountability Office to Congress 
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    The Committee estimates that H. Res. 446 specifically 
directs to be completed no specific rule makings within the 
meaning of 5 U.S.C. Sec. 551.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    The Committee states that pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, H. Res. 
446 requests certain documents from the Trump Administration 
related to the dismissal of former Federal Bureau of 
Investigation Director James Comey.

                          Advisory on Earmarks

    In accordance with clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H. Res. 446 does not contain any 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of rule XXI.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    The following discussion describes the resolution as 
reported by the Committee.
    H. Res. 446, a non-binding resolution of inquiry, requests 
that the President and the Attorney General of the United 
States transmit certain documents and communications to the 
House of Representatives related to the removal of James B. 
Comey from his position as the director of the Federal Bureau 
of Investigation.

                            Dissenting Views

    H. Res. 446, as introduced by Representatives Pramila 
Jayapal (D-WA) and David Cicilline (D-RI), presented the 
Majority with an opportunity to address events that ordinarily 
would command the attention of this Committee--among them 
President Donald Trump's repeated efforts to undermine an 
ongoing criminal investigation, his direct attacks on the 
leadership of the Department of Justice, and the seemingly 
pick-and-choose application of the Attorney General's recusal 
from matters related to the presidential campaigns.
    Rather than debate the resolution on the merits, however, 
the Majority has shown us where their priorities lie: they 
would rather chase the ghost of Hillary Clinton's emails than 
face the fact of widespread dysfunction at the White House and 
the Department of Justice.
    On July 24, 2017, President Trump took to Twitter to ask: 
``So why aren't the Committees and investigators, and of course 
our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys [sic] 
crimes & Russia relations?''\1\ We took this tweet initially as 
just another attack on the Attorney General by the President--a 
troubling suggestion that the Department of Justice should 
investigate the President's political rivals, but nothing 
unusual for the Trump era.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\President Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump), Twitter, July 24, 
2017, 8:49 AM.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Majority, it seems, read the message differently. On 
the same day that the President urged Congress to investigate 
Hillary Clinton, staff for Representative Matthew Gaetz (R-FL) 
asked for help identifying ``Clinton/Obama/election scandals'' 
from ``r/The_Donald,'' an online forum noted for unfounded 
conspiracy theories, racist tendencies, and rabid support for 
President Trump.\2\ The suggestions his staff received formed 
the basis of the Gaetz Amendment to H. Res. 446, which replaced 
the content of the original resolution[,] and which the 
Majority embraced unanimously.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Ashley Feinberg, A GOP Staffer Crowdsourced an Anti-Clinton 
Resolution from Reddit, Wired, July 28, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Our Committee has an obligation to safeguard the Department 
of Justice from the chaos unleashed by the Trump 
Administration. Instead, the Majority seeks to legitimize the 
views of the online forum that helped promote ``Pizzagate''\3\ 
and exploit the murder of Seth Rich.\4\ As amended, the 
resolution is little more than a compilation of right-wing 
conspiracy theories and represents the Majority's abdication of 
our responsibilities. We dissent.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Celia Kang, Fake News Onslaught Targets Pizzeria as Nest of 
Child-Trafficking, N.Y. Times, Nov. 21, 2017.
    \4\Emma Gray Ellis, The Seth Rich Conspiracy Theory: A Tale of Two 
Filter Bubbles, Wired, May 18, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

  I. THE GAETZ AMENDMENT SURRENDERS COMMITTEE PROCESS TO AN ALT-RIGHT 
                             ONLINE FORUM.

    The Gaetz Amendment began with a post to r/The_Donald, an 
online bulletin board hosted by Reddit and dedicated to near-
fanatical devotion to President Trump.\5\ On July 24, 2017, an 
employee of Representative Gaetz solicited the community's 
help:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\The origin of the specious, The Economist, July 4, 2017. For 
example, users of r/The_Donald frequently refer to President Trump as 
``God emperor.''

          I work for Congress and have been asked to come up 
        with a list of Clinton/Obama/election scandals for my 
        boss ASAP (within the next few hours). . . . I know 
        about phony ``Russia'' hack of DNC (Seth Rich), uranium 
        sales, Comey miscreancy, but I'm sure there's a lot I'm 
        missing.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\PEEDS NEEDED ASAP!! *SERIOUS REQUEST*, submitted by Devinm666, 
Reddit, July 24, 2017 (originally posted at https://www.reddit.com/r/
The_Donald/comments/6pbupw/pedes_needed_asap_serious_request/).

The member of Representative Gaetz's staff to whom this message 
was later attributed has a history of frequenting r/The_Donald 
and sharing his opinions on ``the cuck-filled Senate,'' ``Barry 
o'Islama,'' and the ``raping savages'' seeking refuge from the 
Syrian civil war.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\Ashley Feinberg, A GOP Staffer Crowdsourced an Anti-Clinton 
Resolution from Reddit, Wired, July 28, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    These views are right at home on r/The_Donald. Although the 
forum officially condemns anti-Semitism and racism, it is a 
frequent host to racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, and 
misogynistic commentary.\8\ Analysts have described r/
The_Donald as a ``hate speech forum''\9\ and a ``notoriously 
fetid troll swamp.''\10\ Users ``respond to accusations of 
bigotry with defiant claims of persecution at the hands of 
critics. It is an article of faith among posters that anti-
racists are the real bigots, feminists are the actual sexists, 
and progressive politics are, in effect, regressive.''\11\ One 
statistical analysis of the site found that its membership 
overlaps significantly with a number of ``hate-based 
subreddits'' that openly promote racist and anti-Semitic 
views.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\Caitlin Dewey, The people running this Trump fan club also 
promote eugenics and call Muslims `animals,' Wash. Post, July 20, 2016; 
see also Trevor Martin, Dissecting Trump's Most Rabid Online Following, 
FiveThirtyEight.com, Mar. 23, 2017.
    \9\Ben Mathis-Lilley, Meanwhile, Donald Trump Did a Q&A Wednesday 
Night on a Hate Speech Forum, Slate, July 28, 2016.
    \10\Tiffany Kaitlyn, The ultimate conspiracy: a conspiracy against 
Reddit's conspiracy community, The Verge, Jan. 11, 2017.
    \11\John Herrman, Donald Trump Finds Support in Reddit's Unruly 
Corners, N.Y. Times, Apr. 8, 2016.
    \12\Trevor Martin, Dissecting Trump's Most Rabid Online Following, 
FiveThirtyEight.com, Mar. 23, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The subreddit is also an incubator for various right-wing 
conspiracy theories. More than 10,000 posts on r/The_Donald are 
devoted to Seth Rich, a young staffer for the Democratic 
National Committee (DNC) who was killed in an attempted robbery 
last summer.\13\ Commenters on the r/The_Donald claim, without 
evidence, that Mr. Rich was connected to the leak of emails 
stolen from the DNC last year and that he was murdered in a 
plot to cover up his knowledge of the crime.\14\ In a public 
statement, Mr. Rich's parents called these ``discredited 
conspiracy theories . . . baseless [and] unspeakably 
cruel.''\15\ The intelligence community stands by its unanimous 
opinion that the Russian government was responsible for the 
theft of DNC emails during the presidential campaign.\16\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \13\The origin of the specious, The Economist, July 4, 2017.
    \14\David Weigel, The Seth Rich conspiracy shows how fake news 
still works, Wash. Post, May 20, 2017; Eugene Kiely, Gingrich Spreads 
Conspiracy Theory, FactCheck.org, May 22, 2017; Colleen Shalby, How 
Seth Rich's death became an Internet conspiracy theory, L.A. Times, May 
24, 2017.
    \15\Mary Rich & Joel Rich, We're Seth Rich's parents. Stop 
politicizing our son's murder., Wash. Post, Mar. 23, 2017.
    \16\Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US 
Elections, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Jan. 6, 
2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The forum also promoted the ``Pizzagate'' conspiracy, which 
alleged that close associates of Hillary Clinton run an 
underground child exploitation ring out of a pizza restaurant 
in northwest Washington, DC.\17\ The relentless online 
discussion of this theory, promoted and amplified by r/
The_Donald, had dangerous, real-world consequences. On December 
4, 2016, a man entered the crowded restaurant and fired three 
shots from a rifle before finding ``no evidence that underage 
children were being harbored in the restaurant'' and 
surrendering to police.\18\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \17\Abby Ohlheiser, Fearing yet another witch hunt, Reddit bans 
``Pizzagate,'' Wash. Post, Nov. 24, 2016; see also Kevin Ducey, No, 
Andrew Bogut's knee injury is not an anti-Pizzagate conspiracy, Sports 
Illustrated, Dec. 30, 2016.
    \18\Spence Hsu, Comet Pizza gunman pleads guilty to federal and 
local charges, Wash. Post, Mar. 24, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Gaetz Amendment appears to be based almost entirely on 
the suggestions of this collective of conspiracy theorists--and 
it shows. One user, responding to the post left by 
Representative Gaetz's office, offered a list of ideas that 
Representative Gaetz appears to have used in its entirety:

          Are you freaking kidding me? Clinton state department 
        pay for play which funded the Clinton Foundation which 
        bankrolled Clinton's campaign, susan rice [sic] 
        unmasking, lynch [sic] obstruction, falsifying/
        manufacturing evidence for FISA warrants on the Trump 
        Tower, Fusion GPS working with the Russian government 
        to manufacture the . . . dossier, the . . . dossier and 
        how it was spread in general, Christ that's just off 
        the top of my head.\19\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \19\Ashley Feinberg, A GOP Staffer Crowdsourced an Anti-Clinton 
Resolution from Reddit, Wired, July 28, 2017.

The Gaetz Amendment also asks for information about other 
largely discredited schemes: Hillary Clinton's supposed profit 
from the sale of uranium deposits to a Russian company, 
``immunity deals'' given to ``possible Hillary Clinton co-
conspirators,'' and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) 
Director James Comey's ``leaks'' to New York Times reporter 
Michael Schmidt ``as far back as 1993''--when Mr. Schmidt would 
have been in elementary school.
    At least one member of Representative Gaetz's staff seemed 
pleased when the Majority surrendered Committee process to the 
curators of these conspiracy theories. While the markup was 
still in session, in what we assume is a reference to Chairman 
Goodlatte and others leading the Republican conference, he 
posted: ``Cucks abound, and they have not been defending the 
president. Hopefully that stops now.''\20\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \20\Ashley Feinberg, A GOP Staffer Crowdsourced an Anti-Clinton 
Resolution from Reddit, Wired, July 28, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 II. ARGUMENTS IN FAVOR OF THE GAETZ AMENDMENT ECHO PRESIDENT TRUMP'S 
                   OWN OBSTRUCTIONIST TALKING POINTS.

    The Majority would prefer to mimic President Trump's 
favorite talking points rather than conduct any meaningful 
oversight of his Administration. During debate of H. Res. 446, 
they took a resolution designed to hold the President 
accountable to the Committee and used its markup as a forum to 
spread the President's mistruths and misdirection.
    President Trump has a record of deflecting criticism by 
attacking public officials he believes to be his enemies. For 
example, he asks on Twitter: ``why isn't the A.G. or Special 
Council [sic] looking at the many Hillary Clinton or Comey 
crimes. 33,000 emails deleted?''\21\ He tries to equate Hillary 
Clinton's alleged and largely unsubstantiated connections to 
the Russian government to his own: ``What about all of the 
Clinton ties to Russia, including Podesta Company, Uranium 
deal, Russian Reset [sic], big dollar speeches etc.''\22\ Again 
and again, he attempts to pivot the conversation away from his 
own conduct and towards Hillary Clinton: ``My son Donald openly 
gave his e-mails to the media & authorities whereas Crooked 
Hillary Clinton deleted (& acid washed) her 33,000 e-
mails!''\23\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \21\President Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump), Twitter, July 24, 
2017, 7:44 AM.
    \22\Id., July 24, 2017, 7:47 AM.
    \23\Id., July 24, 2017, 8:00 AM. Donald Trump, Jr. made one email 
exchange available to the public. He did so minutes before the New York 
Times planned to do the same. The exchange in question documents top 
Trump campaign advisors agreeing to meet with Russian officials in 
order to obtain information that might harm the Clinton campaign. See 
Jo Becker, et al., Russian Dirt on Clinton? `I Love It,' Donald Trump, 
Jr. Said, N.Y. Times, July 11, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    We have come to expect this kind of rhetoric from President 
Trump. New to us, however, is the Majority's decision to simply 
repeat these fact-free talking points as their own.
    For example, President Trump prefers that the Department of 
Justice look at ``the many Hillary Clinton or Comey crimes'' 
instead of his campaign or his family finances--and now, so 
does our Majority. At the markup, Representative Gaetz 
explained that his amendment was designed to investigate ``the 
real crimes, harmful lies, and the undermining of American 
security by the prior administration.''\24\ Chairman Goodlatte 
also indicated his support for the Gaetz Amendment using 
similar language: ``I share my colleague's desire to determine 
the extent to which laws were broken during the election by 
individuals named in this amendment.''\25\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \24\Unofficial Tr. of Markup of H.R. 391, the ``Asylum Reform and 
Border Protection Act''; H. Res. 446, the ``Resolution of Inquiry,'' 
before the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 115th Cong. (July 26, 2017) 
(statement of Rep. Matthew Gaetz) [hereinafter Markup Tr.].
    \25\Id. (statement of Chairman Bob Goodlatte).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    President Trump hopes that the Committee will examine ``all 
of the Clinton ties to Russia,'' like the ``Uranium deal,'' 
instead of conducting oversight of his Administration. The 
Majority seems happy to oblige. At markup, Representative Jim 
Jordan (R-OH) asked: ``We have got all these investigations 
about Putin's government trying to influence our election. How 
about the Obama administration's influence on our 
election?''\26\ Representative Gaetz made his priorities clear 
as well: ``Cash was flowing to the Clinton Foundation while the 
Uranium One deal was at work. That is the real collusion that 
threatens American's security.''\27\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \26\Id. (statement of Rep. Jim Jordan).
    \27\Id. (statement of Rep. Matthew Gaetz).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As the Special Counsel's investigation bears down on his 
Administration, President Trump returns often to a favorite 
rallying cry: ``33,000 e-mails!'' The Majority has signaled its 
willingness to help on this front as well. Representative Steve 
King (R-IA) stated at the markup that the ongoing investigation 
into the President's campaign is a ``sham investigation'' and 
would rather we focus on ``at least 30,000 emails, crushed hard 
drives, [and] bleach bit.''\28\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \28\Id. (statement of Rep. Steve King).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To the extent that the issues raised by the President and 
the Majority have any basis in reality, they have already been 
thoroughly investigated by the Department of Justice and the 
FBI.\29\ Hillary Clinton's actions and those of other private 
citizens have nothing to do with our obligation to conduct 
oversight of the Trump Administration. We cannot agree with the 
Majority's decision to prioritize yet another investigation of 
Hillary Clinton over matters that are squarely within the 
Committee's jurisdiction and which threaten the integrity of 
the Department of Justice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \29\See, e.g., David A. Graham, But What About Hillary Clinton?, 
The Atlantic, July 24, 2017; Glenn Kessler & Michelle Ye Hee Lee, 26 
hours, 29 Trumpian false or misleading claims, Wash. Post, July 26, 
2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nevertheless, we would be less concerned if the Majority 
wanted to chase Hillary Clinton conspiracy theories in addition 
to conducting meaningful oversight of the Trump Administration. 
At markup, Representative Jayapal made this point clear:

          My colleagues are as entitled to their oversight 
        prerogatives as I am to mine, so if my colleagues are 
        willing to add these points that are in your amendment 
        to our resolution, rather than substitute your 
        questions for ours, then I will withdraw my point of 
        order, and I will look forward to their support for the 
        underlying resolution.\30\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \30\Markup Tr., supra note 24 (statement of Rep. Pramila Jayapal).

Representative Gaetz refused. Instead he chose to let the 
Special Counsel ``review the conduct of the Trump 
Administration,'' and let the Committee ``ensure that the real 
criminals are held accountable for their conduct that has 
undermined the country.''\31\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \31\Id. (statement of Rep. Matthew Gaetz).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    It is worth noting that this Trump-like fixation with 
Hillary Clinton did not stop when the markup ended. One day 
later, the Majority sent a letter to the Department of Justice 
demanding the appointment of a new special counsel to 
investigate each of the items listed in the Gaetz 
Amendment.\32\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \32\Letter from Chairman Bob Goodlatte, et al., H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary, to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions & Deputy Attorney 
General Rod J. Rosenstein, July 27, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    We find this request remarkable. In their objection to 
conducting oversight of the Trump Administration, the Majority 
found ``no salient reason for this committee to become the 
sixth entity that is using taxpayer dollars to investigate the 
Trump campaign's connections . . . to the Russian 
government.''\33\ The Majority can balk at its oversight 
responsibilities because investigations cost too much, or they 
can ask the government to spend millions of additional dollars 
to vindicate the former Secretary of State yet again,\34\ but 
they probably should not do both at the same time.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \33\Markup Tr. (statement of Chairman Bob Goodlatte).
    \34\See Glenn Kessler, Have Republicans really spent $7 million on 
the Benghazi Committee, Wash. Post, May 17, 2016. See also Bipartisan 
Report, Review of the Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Facilities in Benghazi, 
Libya, September 11-12, 2012, S. Select Comm. on Intelligence, Jan. 15, 
2014; Bipartisan Report, Investigative Report on the Terrorist Attacks 
on U.S. Facilities in Benghazi, Libya, September 11-12, 2012, H. 
Permanent Select Comm. on Intelligence; Interim Progress Report for the 
Members of the House Republican Conference on the Events Surrounding 
the September 11, 2012, Terrorist Attacks in Benghazi, Libya, Chairman 
Howard P. ``Buck'' McKeon, H. Comm. on Armed Services, et al., Apr. 23, 
2013.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

III. THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION HAS PUSHED THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE INTO 
      CRISIS, BUT THE MAJORITY REFUSES TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE PROBLEM.

    President Trump has expressed outright contempt for the 
leadership of the Department of Justice. He fired acting 
Attorney General Sally Yates for failing to defend his 
unconstitutional immigration ban.\35\ He has attacked the 
credibility of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Deputy Attorney 
General Rod Rosenstein, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and 
Special Counsel Robert Mueller.\36\ He complained that the 
Attorney General's recusal is ``extremely unfair.''\37\ He 
warned the Special Counsel that any investigation into the 
Trump family's finances would be ``a violation'' and cross ``a 
red line.''\38\ He claimed for himself the ``complete power to 
pardon'' anybody caught up in the Special Counsel's 
investigation--including, presumably, himself.\39\ He lambasted 
Attorney General Sessions for failing to investigate his 
political opponents\40\ and interfered with Department's 
ability to pursue and develop its litigation strategy 
independently.\41\ As the President threatens to fire the 
Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, and the Special 
Counsel in turn, the public debates the proper line of 
succession at the Department of Justice.\42\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \35\Michael D. Shear, et al., Trump Fires Acting Attorney General 
Who Defied Him, N.Y. Times, Jan. 30, 2017.
    \36\Excerpts from the Times's Interview with Trump, N.Y. Times, 
July 19, 2017.
    \37\Id.
    \38\Id.
    \39\President Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump), Twitter, July 22, 
2017, 7:35 AM.
    \40\President Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump), Twitter, July 24, 
2017, 8:49 AM.
    \41\See e.g., Philip Rucker & Ellen Nakashima, Trump asked Sessions 
about closing case against Arpaio, an ally since ``birtherism,'' Wash. 
Post, Aug. 26, 2017.
    \42\See, e.g., Philip Bump, How Rick Perry could fire Robert 
Mueller, Wash. Post, July 27, 2017; Laura Jarrett, Who's in charge of 
the Justice Department if Sessions goes?, CNN, July 26, 2017; Louis 
Nelson, Sally Yates and Preet Bharara hammer Trump for criticizing 
Sessions, Politico, July 20, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The President often engages in these attacks without 
warning, but that does not mean his disparagement of Department 
officials is merely impulsive. For example, on July 26, 2017, 
federal investigators executed a search warrant at the home of 
former Trump campaign manager Paul J. Manafort.\43\ Hours 
later, President Trump took to Twitter to rail against both the 
Attorney General and the acting Director of the FBI: ``Why 
didn't A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, 
a Comey friend who was in charge of [the] Clinton investigation 
. . .''\44\ He added: ``Drain the Swamp!''\45\ Either the raid 
and the tweets are unrelated, and the President was merely 
undermining the leadership of the Department again, or they are 
directly connected, and the President was venting his 
disapproval of an ongoing criminal investigation. Neither case 
should be acceptable to this Committee.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \43\Michael S. Schmidt & Adam Goldman, Manafort's Home Searched as 
Part of Mueller Inquiry, N.Y. Times, Aug. 9, 2017.
    \44\President Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump), Twitter, July 26, 
2017, 9:48 AM. Of course, as the Chairman points out, it is ordinarily 
``within the President's constitutional authority to fire a 
subordinate.'' Markup Tr. (statement of Chairman Bob Goodlatte).
    \45\President Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump), Twitter, July 26, 
2017, 9:56 AM.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This state of affairs is not normal in a functioning 
government. It is profoundly unfair to the career staff of the 
Department of Justice and the FBI and it deserves immediate 
consideration by this Committee. We, from our position in the 
Minority, have attempted to do something about it.
    Together, we have sent more than a dozen letters to the 
White House and the Department of Justice, asking for 
information related to a range of matters that fall squarely 
within our jurisdiction--including the Attorney General's 
participation in the firing of former FBI Director James 
Comey,\46\ the scope of executive privilege,\47\ the 
application of the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the 
Constitution to President Trump's business holdings,\48\ and 
the preservation of documents related to the pending Russia 
investigation.\49\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \46\Letter from Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr., et al., to U.S. 
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, June 12, 2017.
    \47\Letter from Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr., et al., to White 
House Counsel Donald F. McGahn II, June 2, 2017.
    \48\Letter from Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr., et al., to 
President Donald Trump, May 24, 2017.
    \49\Letter from Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr., et al., to Deputy 
Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, U.S. Dept. of Justice, and Acting 
Director Andrew G. McCabe, Federal Bureau of Investigation, May 9, 
2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    We have also sent four separate letters urging the Chairman 
to hold hearings with the leadership of the Department of 
Justice and the FBI.\50\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \50\See, e.g., Letter from Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr., et 
al., to Chairman Bob Goodlatte, H. Comm. on the Judiciary, July 20, 
2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    We have received no meaningful response from the 
Administration and no direct response from Chairman Goodlatte.
    As introduced, H. Res. 446 was designed to help us make 
sense of the growing crisis at the Department of Justice by 
obtaining information about the events that appear to have 
caused President Trump to lose faith in its leadership. The 
Majority refuses to hold oversight hearings, or even allow us 
the courtesy of an up-or-down vote on this resolution of 
inquiry. At markup, Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) asked 
Chairman Goodlatte if ``we all agree the special counsel should 
not be dismissed by the President of the United States.''\51\ 
The Chairman demurred: ``I think that is a separate 
issue.''\52\ The President's repeated threat to fire the 
special counsel is not a separate issue. It is part of the 
crisis that Representatives Jayapal and [Rep.] Cicilline had 
hoped to force the Committee to examine before the 
Administration does even more damage to the integrity of the 
Department of Justice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \51\Markup Tr. (statement of Rep. Jamie Raskin).
    \52\Id. (statement of Chairman Bob Goodlatte).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Instead, the Majority would rather we focus on the much-
litigated, never-substantiated ``crimes'' of Hillary Clinton. 
As President Trump would say: Sad.

IV. THE MAJORITY HAS NO EXCUSE FOR FAILING TO CONDUCT OVERSIGHT OF THE 
                         TRUMP ADMINISTRATION.

    Before the Majority gutted H. Res. 446 and reshaped it 
around a long list of largely unsubstantiated conspiracy 
theories, Chairman Goodlatte voiced his disapproval of our 
tactics:

          This resolution seems to be just one more opportunity 
        for my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to 
        vicariously voice Hillary Clinton's long and growing 
        list of reasons why she lost the election.\53\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \53\Markup Tr. (statement of Chairman Bob Goodlatte).

We appreciate the Majority's stated desire to move on from the 
events that brought us the Trump Administration. We have 
difficulty understanding, however, why those circumstances 
excuse our Committee from its duty to conduct oversight of the 
executive branch--or how the Majority's new plan to investigate 
Hillary Clinton, Cheryl Mills, and Huma Abedin will help put 
the election behind us.
    At markup, the Majority expressed its standard arguments 
against doing oversight of the Trump Administration. None of 
those defenses are convincing.
    The Majority does not believe that the current problems at 
the Department of Justice merit the Committee's attention 
because ``[t]here are other committees that have jurisdiction 
over parts of this.''\54\ We cannot ignore our oversight 
responsibilities simply because the House and Senate 
intelligence committees are investigating similar subject 
matters. The challenges facing the Department of Justice have 
expanded far beyond the question of collusion with the Russian 
government. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the 
Senate Committee on the Judiciary, agrees that ``[t]he 
Judiciary Committee has an obligation to fully investigate any 
alleged improper partisan inference in law enforcement 
investigations.''\55\ Our Senate Judiciary counterparts have 
begun their work in a bipartisan manner, and so should we.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \54\Id.
    \55\Id. Letter from Chairman Charles E. Grassley, S. Comm. on the 
Judiciary, to Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, S. Comm. on the 
Judiciary, June 13, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Majority also argues that there may not be any 
oversight role for Congress to play at the moment. According to 
Chairman Goodlatte, ``Until Mr. Mueller's investigation is 
complete, it is redundant for the House of Representatives to 
engage in fact-gathering on many of the same issues.''\56\ 
Nothing about the special counsel investigation prevents us 
from conducting our own oversight. The Congressional Research 
Service has compiled nearly a century of precedent--from the 
Palmer Raids of 1920 to the Majority's own investigation of 
Operation Fast & Furious in 2011--where congressional 
investigations have overlapped with ongoing investigations at 
the Department of Justice.\57\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \56\Markup Tr. (statement of Chairman Bob Goodlatte).
    \57\Cong. Research Service, Congressional Investigations of the 
Department of Justice, 1920-2012: History, Law, and Practice, R42811 
(Nov. 5, 2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Majority insists that we cannot conduct oversight of 
the Department of Justice while the special counsel 
investigates the Trump Administration--because the Majority 
falsely claims that the Committee also did not ask questions 
about Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while 
that investigation was ongoing. For some reason, the Majority 
believes that the Committee ``did not hold any hearings until 
[Director Comey] completed his investigation'' of Hillary 
Clinton.\58\ The record shows otherwise. In fact, the Committee 
held hearings with both the Attorney General\59\ and the 
Director of the FBI\60\ while the Clinton investigation was 
ongoing. The Chairman made a point of asking about the Clinton 
case at each of those hearings, long before the investigation 
had concluded.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \58\Markup Tr. (statement of Chairman Bob Goodlatte).
    \59\``Should we expect that when the FBI finishes its investigation 
of this matter that no charges will be filed? Does the Department allow 
statements by the President to dictate its investigative practices?'' 
Oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice: Hearing Before the H. 
Comm. on the Judiciary, 114th Cong. 17 (2015) (statement of Chairman 
Bob Goodlatte).
    \60\``Do you believe that a foreign intelligence agency, 
particularly an adversary's, could benefit from acquiring and 
exploiting sensitive and classified information of a top-level U.S. 
government official?'' Oversight of the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation: Hearing Before the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 114th 
Cong. 28 (2015) (statement of Chairman Bob Goodlatte).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finally, the Majority contends that we should not examine 
the removal of former FBI Director [James] Comey because ``it 
was President Trump's responsibility to fire an FBI Director 
who had clearly transgressed beyond his statutory role as 
investigator.''\61\ Many of us disapprove of Mr. Comey's 
handling of the Clinton investigation,\62\ and Deputy Attorney 
General Rosenstein laid out a well-reasoned criticism of Mr. 
Comey's conduct on the day Mr. Comey was fired.\63\ But not 
even the President believes that the President fired Mr. Comey 
because of his treatment of Hillary Clinton. President Trump 
was explicit: he was thinking of ``this Russia thing with Trump 
and Russia'' when he took action; the Deputy Attorney General 
``made a recommendation, but regardless of recommendation 
[sic], I was going to fire Comey.''\64\ The Committee has an 
obligation to examine Mr. Comey's dismissal. We should do so as 
a matter of routine oversight, if not as part of a specific 
inquiry into the President's attempt to derail an ongoing 
criminal investigation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \61\Markup Tr. (statement of Chairman Bob Goodlatte).
    \62\``Having determined that there was nothing to prosecute and 
having announced that quite properly . . . to comment . . . that what 
she did was right or wrong or good or bad is not the appropriate role 
of a prosecuting agency.'' Oversight of the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation: Hearing Before the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 114th 
Cong. 42 (2016) (statement of Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)).
    \63\Letter from Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein to 
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, U.S. Dept. of Justice, May 9, 2017.
    \64\Interview with President Donald Trump, NBC News, May 11, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Majority told us that the Gaetz Amendment was designed 
to uncover Hillary Clinton's ``real crimes'' and ``harmful 
lies.''\65\ Just as we doubt that the President fired Director 
Comey because of how the Clinton investigation was handled, we 
question whether our Majority has closed ranks to defend the 
President out of a sense of fairness to the former Secretary of 
State.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \65\Markup Tr. (statement of Rep. Matthew Gaetz).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                               CONCLUSION

    The Committee has a duty to ask questions of the Trump 
Administration and to protect the institutions that have been 
trusted to our oversight. As introduced by Representatives 
Jayapal and Cicilline, H. Res. 446 would have helped us to 
begin asking those questions.
    The Gaetz Amendment is a study in irresponsibility. We are 
deeply disappointed that the Majority would endorse a string of 
conspiracy theories cobbled together from some of the most 
objectionable corners of the Internet.
    We hope that, in the time that has passed between 
consideration of H. Res. 446 and the filing of this report, the 
Majority has reconsidered the danger of allowing the fringe of 
the President's political base to dictate the terms of 
government policy.\66\ We will continue to push for the 
Committee to conduct meaningful oversight of the Department of 
Justice and its component agencies. We will continue to ask the 
Majority to join us in this effort before the situation 
deteriorates even further.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \66\See, e.g., Julie Bykowicz, President Trump revisits his 
Charlottesville comments in angry speech, Assoc. Press, Aug. 23, 2017; 
John C. Danforth, The real reason Trump is not a Republican, Wash. 
Post, Aug. 24, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    We oppose H. Res. 446 in its current form, and urge our 
colleagues to do the same. For these reasons, we dissent.

                                   Mr. Conyers, Jr.
                                   Mr. Nadler.
                                   Ms. Lofgren.
                                   Ms. Jackson Lee.
                                   Mr. Cohen.
                                   Mr. Johnson, Jr.
                                   Mr. Deutch.
                                   Mr. Gutierrez.
                                   Ms. Bass.
                                   Mr. Richmond.
                                   Mr. Jeffries.
                                   Mr. Cicilline.
                                   Mr. Swalwell.
                                   Mr. Lieu.
                                   Ms. Jayapal.
                                   Mr. Raskin.

                                  [all]