The Justice Department is not letting the Senate Judiciary Committee interview two senior FBI officials regarding President Donald Trump's firing of James Comey.
According to CNN, the DOJ reasoned that because special counsel Robert Mueller was investigating Russia-related matters, it would be inappropriate for Senate investigators to interview the officials. The two officials — Carl Ghattas and James Rybicki, who had knowledge of Comey's firing — received repeated requests from Senate Judiciary leaders Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to give transcribed interviews.
In July, Acting Assistant Attorney General Samuel Ramer explained his department's decision to block the FBI officials from interviewing:
“Under these circumstances and consistent with the Department's long-standing policy regarding the confidentiality and sensitivity of information relating to pending matters, the Department cannot make Mr. Ghattas nor Mr. Rybicki available for transcribed interviews at this time.”
As CNN noted, the DOJ's refusal may indicate Mueller himself is already looking into whether Trump acted appropriately when he fired Comey. As was previously reported, Mueller already began investigating whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice by firing Comey.