The Department of Justice on Monday rebuffed a deadline set by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, California Republican, to provide more information about the FBI’s use of confidential informants while investigating President Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Mr. Nunes had given Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein until 5 p.m Monday to hand over documents related to the confidential informants. He had asked the department to answer questions about how many informants it used and how much money was spent on their activities.
But the Justice Department did not meet that deadline. In a letter sent Monday to Mr. Nunes, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd said the Justice Department has already complied with his request.
“Your letter asks whether the Department and FBI ‘intend to obey the law,’” Mr. Boyd wrote. “We believe that is exactly what the Department and the FBI have been doing.”
Mr. Boyd said that the department’s efforts to meet the committee’s demands while protecting “the integrity of an ongoing investigation.
Furthermore, Mr. Boyd said some of the documents Mr. Nunes sought “are solely in the custody and control of the FBI.”
“The FBI retains and has the ability to produce the documents requested in a manner consistent with its obligation to protect confidential human sources and methods,” Boyd wrote.
Jack Langer, a spokesperson for Mr. Nunes, declined to comment.
After the 5 p.m. deadline passed, Rep. Adam Schiff, California Democrat, alleged Mr. Nunes wanted the information to help the Trump legal team or “give the President a pretest to fire Rod Rosenstein.”
“For its part, in disclosing to Congress information about the pending Russia investigation, the Department of Justice is departing again from existing policy,” Mr. Schiff said.
The Justice Department last week turned over documents related to the use confidential informants. But conservative lawmakers, including Rep. Mark Meadows, North Carolina Republican, said the department didn’t go far enough. Mr. Meadows said the Justice Department only provided a fraction of what lawmakers sought.