Speaker Paul Ryan wants House committees to continue their investigation of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election — despite the Justice Department’s move to name a special prosecutor to probe the matter.
The Wisconsin Republican told reporters Thursday that the department’s decision to tap former FBI Director Robert Mueller to lead the investigation doesn’t at all interfere with the House Intelligence Committee’s work.
“We are going to keep these investigations going here, as I’ve always said,” Ryan said at a press conference. “I think the intelligence committees are the right place to do an investigation involving Russia, involving another country interfering in our elections. And so… these committees are going to continue their investigations.”
The Intelligence panel isn’t the only one that’s digging into the White House’s ongoing Russia controversy. House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz invited recently-fired FBI Director James Comey to testify next week. The Utah Republican wants to question Comey about reports that President Donald Trump tried to get him to drop the agency’s investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, before ultimately firing Comey.
Asked about Oversight’s work, Ryan was less clear, saying only that it is “appropriate” for the committee to make document requests into the matter.
Ryan did not say whether Chaffetz — who has told sources he will resign on June 30 and head to Fox News — should step down from the gavel early. Ryan declined to comment because he said he did not yet know the details of Chaffetz’s departure.
Ryan also agreed with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s assertion that Congress could use a “little less drama from the White House” — namely because he wants to focus on the GOP agenda.
“Well, yeah, it’s always nice to have less drama,” Ryan said. “People in the country need to know that we’re busy at work trying to solve these problems. I realize there’s a lot in the media these days, but that’s doesn’t seize up Congress. That doesn’t stop us from doing our jobs.”