Top Republicans break with Trump over Federal Bureau of Investigation confidential source

Howard TerryJun 09, 2018

The Department of Justice held the two briefings late last month amid reports that a longtime US government informant approached members of Trump's campaign to gather intelligence on Russian efforts to sway the election.

In recent days, House Oversight Committee chair Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) threw cold water on President Trump's unfounded accusations that the Federal Bureau of Investigation planted spies in his presidential campaign.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday that President Donald Trump shouldn't pardon himself. "We still have some unanswered questions", he said.

"But I have seen no evidence to the contrary of the initial assessment that Chairman Gowdy has made", Ryan underscored. He demanded a Justice Department inquiry of the matter and dubbed the matter "SPYGATE" in repeated posts on Twitter.

Before the House took last week off, members of the Intelligence Committee received a classified briefing on the ongoing Russian Federation investigation.

Most experts say his claims of the right to self-pardon, and accusation that the Mueller investigation is unconstitutional, lack strong legal foundation.

DOJ officials have balked at some of the document requests from Congress out of concern that they shouldn't be sharing information about the Russian Federation investigation before it is done.

Joe Scarborough praised House Speaker Paul Ryan Thursday morning for showing a "sign of life" by pushing back on President Donald Trump's claim that he can pardon himself. "Normally I don't like to comment on classified briefings".

"It is Congress's job to conduct oversight over the executive branch, over every department in the executive branch.but especially departments like the Department of Justice that affect our civil liberties", Ryan said.

According to the senior DOJ official, some materials were previously made available during the briefing on Capitol Hill with the bipartisan "Gang of Eight", the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate and the Intelligence committees. Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., originally requested documents on the informant in April.

Authors information: Karoun Demirjian is a congressional reporter covering national security, including defense, foreign policy, intelligence and matters concerning the judiciary. Ryan and Gowdy attended the first briefing with Nunes and Schiff. "As long as we have a special counsel who will not even confess as to his limits, then this is going to continue to be a problem". On Tuesday, Democratic members of the Gang of Eight sent a letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department seeking assurances that "outside of an appropriate judicial proceeding", neither the president nor members of his staff or legal team would be briefed on classified information about the FBI's source.

Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani responded Monday to the president's assertion in an interview with Business Insider, saying the president was "making it clear that he's not going to" pardon himself.

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