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Justice Dept. Taps Chicago's U.S. Attorney To Oversee Document Release To House

CHICAGO (CBS/CNN) -- Chicago's top federal prosecutor will oversee the FBI's production of documents the House Judiciary Committee is seeking as part of a probe into the bureau's handling of the Hillary Clinton email case.

According to published reports, the Justice Department missed a Thursday subpoena deadline to provide the committee with documents related to the FBI investigation of Clinton's handling of email while she was secretary of state. CNN reported the department will turn over 1,000 pages of documents on Monday.

U.S. Attorney John Lausch, the top federal prosecutor in Chicago, has been appointed to oversee the production of those documents.

In a series of tweets over the weekend, President Donald Trump accused his own Justice Department of "stalling" and "slow walking" the effort to turn over unredacted documents.

Justice Department spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores told CNN that the Attorney General and FBI director understood Trump's concerns:

"The Attorney General and FBI Director understand the concerns of members of Congress and the President about the pace of production and level of redactions in the documents already received by the Committee," Flores said in a statement.

"They agree that the Department and the FBI should accommodate the Committee's request in a timely fashion and in the fullest manner consistent with the Department's law enforcement and national security responsibilities.

"Over the weekend, the Attorney General and FBI Director asked U.S. Attorney John Lausch from the Northern District of Illinois to oversee this production moving forward," she added. "On Monday, the FBI will be producing 3,600 pages of additional material requested by the House Judiciary Committee."

Lausch will oversee document production, report progress to the Attorney General and discuss the redaction process with members of Congress, Flores said in the statement.

Trump's tweets

"By appointing Mr. Lausch to oversee this specific document production, our goal is to assure Congress, the President, and the American people that the FBI is going to produce the relevant documents and will do so completely and with integrity and professionalism," Flores said.

Trump tweeted Saturday about House Judiciary lawmakers' complaints that the Department of Justice had missed a deadline to turn over key documents.

"Lawmakers of the House Judiciary Committee are angrily accusing the Department of Justice of missing the Thursday Deadline for turning over UNREDACTED Documents relating to FISA abuse, FBI, Comey, Lynch, McCabe, Clinton Emails and much more," Trump wrote. "Slow walking - what is going on? BAD!"

"What does the Department of Justice and FBI have to hide?" Trump asked in a follow-up tweet. "Why aren't they giving the strongly requested documents (unredacted) to the HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE? Stalling, but for what reason? Not looking good!"


House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte announced in March that he had subpoenaed the Department of Justice for information relating to "charging decisions in the investigation surrounding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email server, potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility recommendation to fire former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe."

After the subpoena had been issued, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that he would double the number of FBI staff charged with responding to House Republicans' various requests for information. Wray acknowledged in a statement that "the current pace of production is too slow."

The Justice Department said last month that about 3,000 documents had been produced since January.

Last year, the House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee announced a joint investigation into the conduct of the Justice Department in 2016. The announcement referenced a series of controversial actions taken by the FBI, including the bureau's handling of the Clinton email probe.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN contributed to this report.)

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