Top Republicans break with Trump, say FBI acted appropriately

Aaron Brown
June 9, 2018

Three senior Republicans who have been briefed on the matter, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, have now said they have not seen evidence that the Federal Bureau of Investigation acted inappropriately.

Ryan told reporters on Wednesday that he thinks Gowdy's "initial assessment is accurate", and he has seen "no evidence to the contrary" of what Gowdy said.

Ryan made his comments Thursday after being asked whether he supports requests from some House Republicans for DOJ to turn over more documents to Congress about the ongoing Russian Federation investigation and its 2016 investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of State.

Department of Justice and FBI officials are planning another secret briefing for congressional leaders about investigators' use of confidential sources in the early stages of the Russian Federation investigation. "As chairman Nunes said just the other day, if we had the information we were looking for, we could wrap this up faster".

Gowdy and Ryan were among a small group of congressional leaders briefed on the informant late last month by top officials from the FBI, Justice Department and the office of the director of national intelligence. Ryan said he wasn't sure about the "technical" legal question, but the speaker was unusually unequivocal in rejecting Trump's suggestion.

The comments contradict Trump, who has insisted the agency planted a "spy for political reasons and to help Crooked Hillary win".

Officials are expected to meet early next week with the leaders of the full House and Senate and the chambers' intelligence committees - the "Gang of Eight" - a senior Justice Department official said.

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Ryan was careful Wednesday not to disparage all of Nunes's complaints with the Justice Department, a list of grievances that includes several unfulfilled demands for documents unrelated to the spying accusations. Still, Ryan said he thinks there's "more digging to do".

The Senate Intelligence Committee agreed to provide records in response to a request from the Justice Department, and the Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution allowing it to do so.

There have already been rumblings about ousting Ryan as speaker before the end of his term, and on Wednesday conservatives incensed by Ryan's Spygate rejection pushed the discussion into the open. Lame Duck Speaker: "Get the hell out of the office, you're going to send us to perdition and destruction in the midterm elections".

He said the department had brought documents to the previous briefing, but "I didn't need to look at them because I knew what they were".

Ryan issued a careful warning about the idea of Trump pardoning himself.

"President Trump and Russia", Ryan said at his weekly news conference.

Ryan also shot a careful retort back at Trump's assertion this week that, as president, he is entitled to pardon himself should Mueller's probe unearth evidence of crimes - while at the same time, asserting that he had done nothing wrong.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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