Published: Fri, May 25, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Democrats and Republicans briefed on Federal Bureau of Investigation source who aided Russian Federation probe

Democrats and Republicans briefed on Federal Bureau of Investigation source who aided Russian Federation probe

The White House said Flood and Kelly made an appearance before both meetings officially began to call for "as much openness as possible under law".

Flood joined White House chief of staff John Kelly on Thursday when they arrived at the Senate to review classified information on the FBI's informant within the Trump campaign, an incident Trump has dubbed "Spygate".

"Although he did not participate in the meetings which followed, as the White House's attorney handling the Special Counsel's investigation, his involvement - in any capacity - was entirely improper, and I made this clear to him", Schiff said in a statement.

According to former Obama administration officials, to their faithful Democratic supporters, and to their media adjunct, there is nothing to see here.

Hounded by claims of "Russian collusion" for most of his presidency, Trump is now calling out the Obama administration over claims it had the Federal Bureau of Investigation spying on his campaign. Nevertheless, the White House first will go ahead with a planned Republican-only briefing.

Separately on Wednesday, Mueller's prosecutors asked a federal judge to start the process of sentencing former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, who has been a key witness in the investigation since his plea previous year to lying to the FBI.

The action then shifted to the US Capitol where Federal Bureau of Investigation director Chris Wray, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who oversees the Russian Federation investigation, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats helped brief the so-called Gang of Eight. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and himself after the conclusion of the second briefing, which was for a bipartisan group of senators.

In what appeared to be an extraordinary concession to House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., the briefings were ultimately conducted in two rounds - one, at noon, took place at the Department of Justice and was attended by Chairman Nunes, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., Schiff, and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

ABC News first reported the plans to hold a separate briefing for Democrats, citing multiple administration and congressional sources.

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"However, if you have determined in your best judgment that Justice Department participation in the meeting is the only way to prevent this situation from devolving into an outright constitutional crisis, then we believe you must insist on" the bipartisan briefing, they wrote, calling it "the only appropriate mechanism for highly sensitive briefings that might implicate intelligence sources and methods".

Ryan said in a statement afterward that the Intelligence Committee was "now getting the cooperation necessary" to complete their work.

"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 Tuesday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told NPR separately on Thursday that he wouldn't discuss the classified briefing but that he retains confidence in special counsel Robert Mueller and in Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

Aside from the high creep factor of academics moonlighting as actual spies, Halper allegedly arranged meetings with campaign advisers Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and Sam Clovis in an apparent effort to build the case for Russian Federation collusion, the Washington Post reported. Investigators wanted to know about the overtures that people on Trump's campaign were receiving from Russian agents.

"For the record, the President's Chief of Staff and his attorney in an ongoing criminal investigation into the President's campaign have no business showing up to a classified intelligence briefing", Warner tweeted. "If so, that would be a disgrace to this country".

Trump told reporters in response: "What I'm doing is a service to this country and I did a great service to this country by firing James Comey".

The president is on the attack.

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