Trump, GOP Prepare New Pincer Attack Against Justice Department And The FBI

White House

White House

Two Republican lawmakers, and no Democrats, are expected to attend a meeting that has been scheduled for Thursday to allow them to review classified information relating to claims the Federal Bureau of Investigation used an informant to gather information on Trump's presidential campaign, the White House said on Tuesday.

Key congressional leaders are set to meet Thursday with federal law enforcement and intelligence bosses amid a slow-motion standoff over secret documents in the Russian Federation investigation, the White House said on Tuesday. The FBI director, Christopher Wray, the director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, and the acting principal associate deputy attorney general, Ed O'Callaghan are also expected to attend, she said at the daily White House press briefing.

No one from the White House is scheduled to be present, Sanders said - nor, at this point, are any senators or any Democrats, in defiance of a request from the Senate minority leader.

I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes - and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration! Justice Department officials have been reluctant to turn over the materials, though on Monday, after meeting with Trump at the White House, they reached an agreement to have another gathering where lawmakers could review information.

Trump put Rosenstein in a tough spot on Sunday when he demanded in a tweet that the Justice Department investigate the FBI's motives for scrutinizing his campaign. A secret FBI source met with Trump campaign officials several times during the 2016 campaign, according to the newspapers, as part of the FBI's investigation into Russian interference with the election.

Sanders said Democrats weren't included in the meeting because they hadn't requested the records themselves, and suggested reporters ask them why they should be "randomly invited".

Top FBI and Justice Department officials have already agreed to meet with congressional leaders and "review" highly classified documents in the case.

Without substantiation, Trump tweeted in March 2017 that former President Barack Obama had conducted surveillance the previous October at Trump Tower, the NY skyscraper where Trump ran his campaign and transition and maintains a residence.

"Trump has engaged over the past year and a half in a series of incremental transgressions of the norms of DOJ independence", says John Bies, who worked in the Justice Department for almost a decade under President Barack Obama and is now chief counsel at American Oversight. House Speaker Paul Ryan has said repeatedly, however, that he believed Mr. Mueller should be allowed to continue his work.

Democrats, however, have maintained the independence of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation should remain unimpeded.

Rosenstein risked Trump's ire if he didn't respond, but it's highly unusual for a president to intervene in a Department investigation in this way.

"Excuse me, I have the president of South Korea here", Trump said, sidestepping the question. Rosenstein put out a statement saying, "If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action", and referred the matter to the Office of Inspector General. Negotiations between the House Republicans and the Justice department appeared to stall last week ahead of Trump's tweet - an apparent reversal of the White House's initial policy.

Caputo added: "I know because they came at me". But as far as Trump is concerned, there was nothing even faintly scandalous about his demand.

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