Senate Judiciary Committee members are discussing whether to subpoena fired FBI Director James Comey, who has refused to appear before their group, to force him to come in to testify.
"I keep looking at Comey's testimony about the FBI and thinking 'Why isn't this in the Senate Judiciary Committee?'" Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, a committee member, told The Hill. "This really raises some fundamental questions about the Federal Bureau of Investigation and I hope we'll play a much more aggressive role in the future."
A spokesman for Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said there has not yet been any specific decisions made on issuing subpoenas, but confirmed the senator "is willing to consider issuing subpoenas in the course of the Judiciary Committee's ongoing and bipartisan oversight."
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said she and Grassley have discussed bringing Comey in, but said Grassley has asked her to defer to him on a timeline for the decision, and she agreed.
On Friday, Feinstein, also on the Intelligence Committee, urged Judiciary to "investigate all issues that raise a question of obstruction of justice" regarding President Donald Trump and the Russia probe and to subpoena witnesses if necessary.
"It is my strong recommendation that the Judiciary Committee investigate all issues that raise a question of obstruction of justice," the California Democrat said in her letter to Grassley.
To subpoena Comey or any other individual, Grassley and Feinstein must work out an agreement, or the full committee will have to bring the matter to a vote, according to committee rules.
Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday were the first public comments he's made since he was fired, and continue to be hotly debated over whether they point to a case of obstruction of justice by Trump.
The Judiciary Committee, though, has oversight over the FBI, and Comey's continued refusals to testify before the group is creating frustration.
"At some point, the Judiciary Committee has to decide whether it's going to continue to be a serious committee," Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, commented.
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