Why Is the Media Ignoring DOJ Hiding A $70,000 Conference Table From Congress?

Michael Bastasch | Contributor

Reporters have breathlessly covered the spending habits of Trump administration officials; however, outlets have almost completely ignored the $70,000 the FBI spent on former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s conference table.

Only a few conservative news sites seem to have covered the Justice Department’s attempt to hide McCabe’s expensive conference table from Congress, which Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley revealed in a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein sent Thursday.

Grassley, a Republican, listed the secret conference table as just one example of the DOJ improperly redacting information sent to Congress as part of the investigation into text messages between FBI lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

“On several occasions, my staff have requested that the Department of Justice provide the Committee with a redaction key, to no avail,” Grassley wrote to Rosenstein. “Thus, the Committee is still in the dark about the justification the Department is relying upon to withhold that information from Congress. ”

“As one example of redacted material, in a text message produced to the Committee, the price of Andrew McCabe’s $70,000 conference table was redacted.” Grassley wrote. “In another, an official’s name was redacted in reference to a text about the Obama White House ‘running’ an investigation, although it is unclear to which investigation they were referring.”

McCabe was fired from the FBI in March, less than two days before he was slated to retire.

Major outlets, like The New York Times and The Washington Post, have breathlessly covered spending by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. (RELATED: Grassley Calls For The Release Of All Strzok-Page Texts)

Reports on Pruitt’s spending, including $43,000 on a secure phone booth, sparked congressional investigations. EPA’s Office of Inspector General is also looking into Pruitt’s spending habits, including billing taxpayers for first class seats.

A simple Google News search for Pruitt’s secure phone booth yields about 7,800 results, but a Google News search for news hits on McCabe’s $70,000 conference table turns up 39 — only a handful of which are actually related to Grassley’s letter.

Granted, Grassley only broke news about McCabe’s expensive conference table on Thursday, but in the time since The New York Times does not seem to have an article that mentions McCabe’s conference table.

Neither does The Washington Post appear to have an article on the $70,000 conference table. To his credit, The Post’s fact-checker Glenn Kessler tweeted about McCabe’s conference table when news broke.

Media outlets generated hundreds of stories on controversies like Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson’s $31,000 dining set, and the Interior Department spending $139,000 repairing doors to Secretary Ryan Zinke’s office.

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