FBI, DOJ to brief lawmakers on handling of Russian Federation probe on Thursday

Andrew Cummings
May 23, 2018

The US Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation will provide a highly anticipated briefing on the handling of the Russian Federation investigation to Republican members of Congress on Thursday, White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Tuesday.

She said that Kelly's role in the meeting is "coordinating and making sure it took place" but that he didn't plan to attend.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced at a White House press briefing that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) would be the only two lawmakers at the meeting, which would also include FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Ed O'Callaghan. The White House then said Monday that Trump chief of staff John Kelly would organize the meeting to review the documents.

"To my knowledge, the Democrats have not requested that information, so I would refer you back to them on why they would consider themselves randomly invited to see something they've never asked to", Sanders said.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly alleged that the Federal Bureau of Investigation planted a spy inside his presidential campaign, and has ordered the Justice Department to look at whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation was politically motivated.

Trump also weighed in on the informant allegations again Tuesday, after meeting with FBI Director Wray and Rosenstein at the White House on Monday. It's unclear exactly what the members will be allowed to review or if the Justice Department will be providing any documents to Congress.

Mr. Zeldin, Mr. Meadows and about a dozen other Republicans in the House of Representatives insisted at a news conference announcing the resolution that Mr. Trump had not requested a new counsel.

"No one from the White House staff will attend", Sanders said.

His tweets prompted the Justice Department to ask its inspector general to expand an ongoing probe into the surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page to include a review of whether the FBI was politically motivated in its investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 United States election. The FBI declined to comment.

And Trump has taken up the cause as the White House tries to combat the threat posed by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

"If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action", said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

"And he knows that if Americans are fixated on collusion, they aren't concentrating on much else".

"Nobody needs firing more than Robert Mueller", Gohmert said, addressing Trump in absentia.

"But you can't be the one to fire him because we've got some weak-kneed Republicans out there who will come after you for firing the guy who needed firing", he recalled while holding a photo of himself whispering in Trump's ear last summer.

FILE - In this Thursday, May 17, 2018, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, in Washington.

Trump and his supporters say the stories amount to suggestions that President Barack Obama's administration improperly spied on the Trump campaign.

Other reports by iNewsToday