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The Roanoke Times: Goodlatte: The public has the right to know all of the facts

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Washington, September 5, 2017 | Beth Breeding (2022255431) | comments
Over the weekend, a piece by Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, ran in The Roanoke Times on the special counsel’s investigation. The full text can be found below or by clicking here:

The Roanoke Times: Goodlatte: The public has the right to know all of the facts

Bob Goodlatte, a Republican from Roanoke County, represents the 6th Congressional District. He is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Sep 3, 2017

In May, the Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice appointed a special counsel to oversee the FBI’s investigation of “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.” While I thought the career officials at the FBI were able to conduct a fair and impartial inquiry into these issues, the decision by the Deputy Attorney General to take this action was warranted given the past history of the Department of Justice’s inaction during the previous Administration. As Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction and oversight authority over the FBI and our nation’s criminal laws, I look forward to providing rigorous oversight of the special counsel’s actions in this targeted and specific investigation. Here is why.

Under the law, the Attorney General — or in this specific instance the Deputy Attorney General — is able to appoint a special counsel outside of the normal chain of command when it is determined it is in the public interest to do so. A special counsel is then given full authority to independently and thoroughly unearth all the facts relevant to the investigation at hand.

Public confidence in American institutions has waned in recent years as many believe that justice is not being done. Given that the FBI is investigating the matters related to last year’s presidential election, a special counsel can help assuage any concerns that the investigation might be swayed by political considerations. The appointment of an independent special counsel will help regain much needed trust and confidence in our law enforcement and political institutions and restore integrity to the system.

The special counsel’s investigative team, headed by former FBI Director Robert Mueller, has a solemn obligation to uncover all of the facts related to the Russian involvement in the 2016 election, as its mission was stated by the Deputy Attorney General, and apply the law to determine whether criminal prosecution is warranted. A special counsel’s work must not originate or proceed under politically-motivated whims or lax oversight. Mr. Mueller’s investigation must begin and end unimpeded by political motivations on either side of the political divide, and the investigators themselves must be guided by facts, not politics. The American people deserve no less from their government.

For this reason, the House Judiciary Committee is not interfering with the special counsel’s work. However, the Committee will continue to closely monitor this investigation and exercise appropriate oversight as necessary. Once the special counsel concludes its investigation, the House Judiciary Committee stands ready to act on the findings if necessary.

As this work continues, many of my colleagues and I have heard from the folks we represent that several concerns arising out of the 2016 presidential election and its aftermath are not being investigated by Mueller’s team. These issues merit further attention. Along with other Republican Members of the House Judiciary Committee, I recently called on the Department of Justice to appoint a second special counsel to investigate unaddressed issues connected to the 2016 election as well as other matters, including many actions taken by Obama Administration officials such as Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. This call for a second special counsel is not made lightly. To be clear, however, just because a presidential election has passed does not mean that we should ignore possible crimes committed by a previous Administration. A second special counsel, which would not impede Mueller’s investigation, will help shed light on issues that the Obama Administration never satisfactorily resolved and continue to cast shadows over our process.

The American public has a right to know the facts — all of them — surrounding the election and its aftermath.

Appeared in the September 3, 2017, print edition.
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