Dems alarmed when WH lawyer shows up at classified briefing

26 May, 2018, 03:02 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Comey slams Trump for ‘lying’ about FBI

The meeting itself was highly unusual: the DOJ bowing to the president and Congress to share confidential and classified documents about an informant who spoke with several Trump campaign officials before the election.

"Look how things have turned around on the Criminal Deep State", Trump tweeted today. He says, "James Comey was one of them".

Democrats fought successfully to be included after the White House said Wednesday it planned only to brief two top Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday and make the bipartisan group wait until after the Memorial Day recess.

The plans for the briefings - even those that were announced publicly - changed repeatedly in the hours leading up to them, the apparent result of a behind-the-scenes, partisan tug-of-war about who should be briefed, where, and alongside whom.

"SPYGATE could be one of the biggest political scandals in history!"

President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, has been interviewed a second time by special counsel Robert Mueller's team.

House Republicans close to the president - led by Rep. Devin Nunes of California, the Intelligence Committee chairperson - had been pressing unsuccessfully for weeks for access to material related to the informant, issuing a subpoena and threatening to hold top Justice Department officials in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn it over.

Nunes and other Republicans already eager to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation used Trump's complaints to obtain the briefing from the Justice Department, whose leaders have tried for months to balance demands from congressional overseers against their stated obligation to protect Mueller's ongoing investigation into ties between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign. Mueller took over the investigation when he was appointed in May 2017.

Former FBI Director James Comey, who was sacked by Trump a year ago, said the agency's use of secret informants was "tightly regulated and essential to protecting the country". "They go after Phony Collusion with Russian Federation, a made up Scam, and end up getting caught in a major SPY scandal the likes of which this country may never have seen before!", he wrote on Twitter.

In a tweet Sunday, Trump demanded that the Justice Department investigate whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation infiltrated his presidential campaign and "if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!"

It remained unclear what, if any, spying was done.

There's no telling what kind of information was actually discussed in those meetings, but we do know that Democrat, Adam Schiff, the only Democrat allowed to go to that meeting, did come out and say there was absolutely nothing to confirm Trump's claims that there was a spy within his campaign. In particular, the presence of Nunes, who was forced to step aside from oversight of the Russian Federation investigation for much of 2017 after an ethics complaint over disclosure of classified information, raised concern from Democrats. The Justice Department had resisted sharing information, saying it jeopardized the source.

"I think of the things that I've done for the country, the firing of James Comey is going to go down as a very good thing", Trump said.

In response to Trump's tweet, the Justice Department said it would expand an open, internal investigation into the ongoing Russian Federation probe by examining whether there was any politically motivated surveillance.

Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said "there's never been a Gang of 8 meeting with a White House presence".

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