Thursday, 21 June, 2018

Top House Democrat Requests Probe Into How FBI Source's Name Was Leaked

Rudy Giuliani serves as Donald Trump's legal adviser but said he hasn't spoken to him in a couple of weeks Rudy Giuliani serves as Donald Trump's legal adviser but said he hasn't spoken to him in a couple of weeks
| 26 May, 2018, 03:03

The pair of high-level briefings for lawmakers is an effort to ease Republican pressure over the Russian Federation investigation, after President Trump said that a confidential informant made contact with several of his top advisors during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump has gradually escalated his rhetoric on the matter this week, coining it "spygate" and tweeting on Wednesday: "Look how things have turned around on the Criminal Deep State".

In an interview with Reuters, Comey also said he would be leery of the Federal Bureau of Investigation trying to track propaganda in the United States, let alone take action against it, while acknowledging that it was a major problem for the US political system.

The top Democrat on the House intelligence panel, California Rep. Adam Schiff, said the briefing should have been done through the bipartisan "Gang of 8", which includes Republican and Democratic leaders and the top Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate intelligence panels.

"What is the point of the separate briefing if not to cause partisan trouble?" he said.

President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, has been interviewed a second time by special counsel Robert Mueller's team.

The Justice Department announced it will host the first briefing at noon on Thursday with those two Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee, Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif, and Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., followed two hours later by the bipartisan briefing.

Democrats have expressed concerns that Republicans' demands are animated by a desire to undermine the work of Special Counsel Robert Mueller - or else to directly inform the President's legal strategy.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper denies the Trump team was spied
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper denies the Trump team was spied

Revelations that the Federal Bureau of Investigation used an informant to monitor the Trump campaign in 2016 serve to reinforce the president's contention that "deep state" forces are out to get him. The California Democrat said she had directed Schiff to attend in her place so as to make sure "henchmen of the president" do not interfere with the investigation.

US President Donald Trump today alleged that a spy was placed within his 2016 presidential campaign even before the opposition Democrats raised the issue of reported Russian collusion with his election team.

It remained unclear what, if any, spying was done.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, an ardent Trump supporter, had originally requested the information on an FBI source in the Russian Federation investigation. In 2016, he alleged that President Barack Obama for "wiretapping" Trump Tower, an assertion for which the Department of Justice later said in a court filing there was no evidence. But NPR and other news outlets have identified him as Stefan Halper, a retired professor who served in several Republican presidential administrations.

An independent investigator from the Department of Justice responded to directives from the president to determine if there is any credence to the unsubstantiated claim. Neither Kelly nor Flood was present for the meetings themselves, according to the White House.

Former FBI Director James Comey has commented on Twitter.

The back and forth between Congress and the Justice Department has simmered for weeks.

Trump has branded his latest attempt to discredit the special counsel's Russian Federation investigation as "spygate", part of a newly invigorated strategy embraced by his Republican colleagues to raise suspicions about the probe into Russian Federation meddling in the 2016 campaign.


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