Chuck Grassley won’t rule out obstruction probe

Sen. Chuck Grassley, the powerful chairman of the Senate judiciary committee, is leaving open Tuesday the possibility that his panel might investigate whether President Donald Trump may have obstructed justice in his interactions with fired FBI Director James Comey.

Grassley has faced calls from the ranking Democrat on the committee, Dianne Feinstein of California, to begin an investigation into whether Trump improperly interfered with the FBI’s investigation into the President’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn. And when asked if the issue is something his committee may probe, Grassley did not rule it out.

“We’re going to leave that to a conversation with Feinstein,” the Iowa Republican said, adding that he wants to “work out all the subpoenas and all the stuff we have to do in the future.”

Members of the judiciary committee have grown frustrated that the Senate intelligence committee has had more access to information and documents on the Russia issue, even though the judiciary committee has oversight of the FBI and Justice Department.

Asked about the scope of his inquiry, Grassley said it would look at Comey and the Russia investigation, saying the intelligence committee has a “pretty narrow” jurisdiction.

“The FBI being our responsibility most of it will deal with the FBI and anything the FBI got to do with Russia and anything else that has been brought up because of Comey’s testimony before the committee,” Grassley said of what he wanted his committee to investigate.

The leaders of the panel have called on Comey’s friend, Daniel Richman, to produce a memo that Comey wrote discussing his interaction with Trump where he allegedly asked the then-FBI director to drop the Flynn inquiry.

But Richman told CNN Tuesday that he instead gave the memo and “all relevant materials” to the FBI, and said special counsel Robert Mueller is in touch with the judiciary committee about the issue.