(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said the outcome of the midterm election will have no bearing on the investigation into the FBI/DOJ now being conducted by his committee:
"Until January 3 at 12 noon, I'll be chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Trey Gowdy will be chairman the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and we will continue this investigation," Goodlatte told "Sunday Morning Futures" with Maria Bartiromo.
As part of their probe into the origins of the FBI's Trump-Russia probe, Goodlatte and Gowdy plan to interview Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday, along with two Democrats, in private.
And if Republicans lose control of the House, Goodlatte said their efforts will not be for nothing:
In addition, after the election, we're going to -- we're going to proceed with an interim report of our findings. And that will be true whether Republicans or Democrats are in the majority in the House. I think the Republicans will. And, if so, the new chairman can continue that work in January.
However, you also have a Senate Judiciary Committee perfectly capable of conducting these investigations. You have an inspector general who has been looking into the FISA warrant abuse allegations.
So this matters is not going away based upon the outcome of this election.
Bartiromo asked Goodlatte if the interim report will be enough to let the public know what really happened inside the FBI.
Goodlatte and other Republicans say it would be helpful if President Trump would declassify key documents, including the application for the FBI's FISA warrant to spy on a Trump campaign volunteer.
"We have certainly urged the president to do that (declassify)," Goodlatte said. "And it's my expectation that he will do that at some point in time, but I can't speak for the president."
Meeting with Rosenstein
On Wednesday, Rod Rosenstein is scheduled to meet in a private, classified setting with four members of the Judiciary and Oversight Committees -- Republicans Goodlatte and Gowdy and ranking Democrats Elijah Cummings and Jerrold Nadler.
"That was our proposal," Goodlatte said. He added that Rosenstein will be under oath and the interview will be transcribed:
Well, we have a lot of questions for him. And it's important to note that there is no limitation on the scope of these questions. That's why it will be limited to the people who will be in the room and to -- and that it will be in a classified setting.
We will have a court reporter present who has a security clearance, and we will have transcripts of that interview. And then we will turn that over to the intelligence community to make sure that there are no things that cannot be released the public. When we have that, we will make that public.
In the meantime, other members of Congress will also be able to see the interview in its classified format, the transcript.
We want to know in particular about the new developments that we have been made aware of about Mr. Rosenstein meeting with a group of other DOJ and FBI employees and talking about the possibility of wearing a wire when he meets with the president of the United States -- his boss, the chief executive officer of our country, and the possibility of pulling together Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which would be a mechanism to declare the president disabled and therefore have somebody else, the vice president, presumably, serving in his place.
These are very, very serious allegations. We have all of this based upon a newspaper report, and we have third-party testimony that we’ve heard in our investigation. We know he's met with President Trump. President Trump has been satisfied and said that he wants him to continue on as his number two at the Department of Justice.
But the Congress has oversight responsibility. So we're going to ask him about those questions, along with many other things.
Goodlatte said he and Gowdy will ask any questions that other Republican committee members want answered. They're limiting the closed-door session to only four lawmakers to avoid concern about leaks, he said.
In addition to Rosenstein's reported comments about wiretapping the president, Goodlatte and Gowdy want to ask him about the third renewal of the FISA warrant on Carter Page, which Rosenstein signed.
"So this will be an important opportunity in the appropriate setting to ask all of those questions regarding the conduct of an investigation that began long before he became involved," Goodlatte said.
"But he certainly was at the crux of it at the moment that James Comey was fired and this discussion took place about whether or not a wire would be worn. We want to know about that and his other involvement in the -- in the investigation up to that point, not to interfere with the special counsel's investigation, but to get the facts."