House conservatives want second special counsel to investigate alleged DOJ 'misconduct'
May 23 2018
The meeting, which was not on the White House's public schedule, occurred the day after Trump demanded an investigation over a government informant's meeting with several people connected with his campaign in 2016. FBI Director Christopher Wray, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Acting Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Ed O'Callaghan are also expected to attend, she said. Rep. Devin Nunes of California, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and Rep. Trey Gowdy of SC, who chairs the House Oversight panel, will attend, though Sanders said no Democrats were invited.
On Sunday Trump demanded an investigation following initial reports about the informant, leading the DOJ to direct Inspector General Michael Horowitz to investigate whether agents surveiled the campaign for political purposes, and if they were instructed to do so by the Obama administration.
During a meeting Monday with Trump, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray also reiterated an announcement late Sunday that the Justice Department's inspector general will expand an existing investigation into the Russian Federation probe by examining whether there was any improper politically motivated surveillance.
"I don't think any of us have any idea what the White House is doing, except that they want to use any mechanism they can to get their hands on materials they think will be useful for their legal defense team and they're willing to break down the wall of independence between the White House and the Justice Department to do it", he said.
"To my knowledge, the Democrats have not requested that information", she said. Schiff and other committee Democrats were furious and argued that Republicans had not subpoenaed many witnessed they considered essential to the committee's work.
Top officials at the FBI and Justice Department have agreed to "review" highly classified information with lawmakers who have been seeking such information on the handling of the Russian Federation investigation. The Department of Justice responded by integrating the president's request into an investigation that's already underway within the department, but it's unclear whether that will satisfy the president.
Conservatives have been criticizing the department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian interference in the election for months.
"No one from the White House staff will attend", Sanders said. The Justice Department has in the past offered classified briefings to Nunes, though they have refused to turn over documents.
FILE - In this Thursday, May 17, 2018, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, in Washington.
Sunday was not the first time that Trump accused his predecessor of politically motivated activity against him.
"That would be one of the biggest insults that anyone's ever seen", Mr. Trump said.
Former FBI Director James Comey later testified to Congress that internal reviews found no information to support the president's tweets.
Benjamin Wittes, a senior governance fellow at the Brookings Institution and the editor-in-chief of Lawfare, posted a tweet that called Trump's move "a nakedly corrupt attempt" to derail the investigation and predicted that forcing a probe would prompt both Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray to resign.