White House Bars Democrats From Meeting on Russia Investigation Records

Lloyd Doyle
May 23, 2018

Trump, in a weekend-long Twitter rant, accused the intelligence community of infiltrating his campaign, and demanded that the FBI launch a probe into special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian meddling in the election and possible collusion with Trump's campaign.

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.

On Sunday, Trump demanded via tweet the Justice Department "look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for political Purposes".

House GOP leadership had not committed to bringing up their measure for a vote on the House floor, the Republicans said.

"If they had spies in my campaign, that would be a disgrace to this country, that would be one of the biggest insults that anyone's ever seen, and it would be very illegal", Trump said at the White House.

Trump has reportedly considered firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who now oversees Mueller's probe, or firing Mueller. "So hopefully they will all be able to get together", he said.

President Donald Trump declined to say Tuesday whether he has confidence in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, escalating pressure on the Justice Department as his White House negotiated rare access to classified documents for his congressional allies.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) went one step further at a Tuesday news conference, calling on the president to orchestrate Mueller's termination. 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.

Asked before a private meeting with the president of South Korea if he has confidence in Rosenstein, who is overseeing the special counsel's Russian Federation investigation, he asked reporters to move on to another question.

Their goal is to move past a standoff that threatens to drag out Mueller's investigation, and appears to be part of a larger strategy to negotiate with the special counsel through the media.

They also are concerned the meeting will culminate in the outing of the identity of the source or information about that person. Press secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday the meeting would be Thursday.

"The individuals that are expected to attend are Chairman Nunes, Chairman Gowdy, FBI Director Wray, [Director of National Intelligence Dan] Coats, and DOJ official Ed O'Callaghan", she said, referring to House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes., R-Calif., and House Government and Oversight Reform Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.

"To my knowledge, the Democrats have not requested that information", she said. If he is not careful, the spectacle of an unhinged, unprincipled president treating the DOJ as his personal law firm may yet persuade voters, or even members of Congress, that Trump does not belong in the White House.

U.S. officials have told CNN there was no such source planted inside Trump's campaign to provide information to investigators.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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