President Trump just posed a question that if proven true, could severely damage both the FBI and DOJ.
From Washington Examiner
Trump’s rallying call is a culmination of a week’s worth of Republican furor about a possible effort to spy on Trump’s 2016 campaign, which could favor his Democratic challenger, Hillary Clinton.
Two reports published Friday evening, one by the New York Times and the other by the Washington Post, describe the informant in question as an American academic who teaches in the United Kingdom and met with up to three members of the Trump campaign to look into their ties to Russia. These include campaign advisers Carter Page, who was surveilled by the government via FISA warrants, and George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI and agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
The FBI reportedly launched its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election after it got word that Papadopoulos learned that the Russians obtained thousands of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails months before WikiLeaks published them.
Both the Times and the Post said they identified the informant, but declined to identify the person heeding concerns of national security officials that the individual’s life and the lives his his or her sources would be placed in danger.
Earlier in the week, Trump questioned the footing on which the Russia investigation stands, saying if the FBI representative was found to have been planted for political purposes, it could be the “all time biggest political scandal.”
Republicans in Congress have tried to zero in on possible misbehavior at the Justice Department, led in large part by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.
Nunes subpoenaed the Justice Department for documents concerning an American who was a confidential intelligence source for Mueller’s investigation. The subpoena came after the agency did not reply to a letter asking for details on Mueller’s probe.
But the DOJ — backed by the White House — did not provide the documents, informing Nunes earlier this month that providing the information would threaten the life of the source and jeopardize national security. Instead he got a briefing with government officials, along with Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., the chairman of the House Oversight Committee.
Trump now appears to have changed his mind on the matter, as his lawyer Rudy Giuliani suggested earlier this week.
Though Nunes and Gowdy said they had a “productive” meeting and looked forward to future discussions, Nunes did not respond to an invitation from the DOJ to “answer questions he posed last week” in a follow-up meeting Friday, an agency spokesperson told the Washington Examiner.
Meanwhile Grassley’s committee has pressed DOJ for documents related to two FBI employees who demonstrated in text messages that were recovered a bias against Trump during the election.
Democrats have fought back against what they fear might be a political ploy by their Republican counterparts to undermine Mueller’s investigation, which not only is looking into Russian interference in the 2016 election, but also possible collusion between the Trump camp and the Kremlin.
“It would be at best irresponsible, and at worst potentially illegal, for members of Congress to use their positions to learn the identity of an FBI source for the purpose of undermining the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in our election,” Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement.
Warner was backed up by Senate Minority Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Saturday, also warning that certain Republicans might be getting close to crossing a legal line.