House Committee on Ethics
The House Committee on Ethics interprets and enforces the House’s ethics rules. Chairwoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN) and Ranking Member Ted Deutsch (D-FL) lead the committee, which is the only one in the House with an equal number of Republicans and Democrats (five each).
In relation to the Russia investigation, the House Ethics Committee is looking into whether Representative Devin Nunes violated House ethics rules by disclosing classified information. Nunes gave a press conference in which he claimed U.S. intelligence agencies had collected information about Trump associates during routine surveillance, information Nunes allegedly received from White House staff.
Department of Justice inspector General
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is tasked with rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse in the Department of Justice (DOJ) and promoting “economy and efficiency” in its programs. The OIG also is in charge of investigating any allegations of criminal or civil misconduct by DOJ personnel.
On May 10, 2017, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) – then Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee who since has resigned from Congress and joined Fox News and Fox Business as a contributor – sent a letter to current Inspector General Michael Horowitz asking him to look into why President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Chaffetz wanted Horowitz to do so as part of an ongoing review of how the FBI and DOJ handled the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. The White House’s initial explanation for Comey’s firing blamed the FBI Director’s handling of the Clinton email investigation during the 2016 campaign, but President Trump quickly revealed that was not true.
On May 12, 2017, four Democratic members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee also called on Horowitz to look into Comey’s firing but from the angle of potential political interference by the Trump administration. They sent a letter asking the Inspector General to investigate “the allocation of resources for the Russia investigation; the intent and timing of Comey’s termination, including the role of Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the termination despite his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation; and whether any actions of the DOJ or the White House constitute political interference in the FBI investigation.”
New York State Investigations
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. are investigating former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s real estate holdings and financial transactions for evidence of fraud and money laundering. On July 17, 2016, The Wall Street Journal reported state prosecutors issued a subpoena for bank records related to up to $16 million in loans.