We can’t know the precise motivations behind the Justice Department’s and FBI’s refusal to make key information public. But whether it is out of real concern over declassification or a desire to protect the institutions from embarrassment, the current leadership is about 20 steps behind this narrative. Mr. Comey, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Andrew McCabe —they have already shattered the FBI’s reputation and public trust. There is nothing to be gained from pretending this is business as usual, or attempting to stem continued fallout by hiding further details.
This week’s events—including more flat-out subpoena defiance—put a luminous spotlight on Speaker Paul Ryan. The credibility of the House’s oversight authority is at stake. Mr. Ryan’s committee chairmen have done remarkable work exposing FBI behavior, and they deserve backup. The quickest way to get Justice and FBI to comply with these legitimate requests is for Mr. Ryan to state strongly and publicly that he has zero qualms about proceeding down the road of contempt or impeachment if House demands are not met. This is the people’s government, not the Justice Department’s.