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Donald Trump's FBI 'Spy' Claim Not Supported By Briefings, Say Democrats

Donald Trump's FBI 'Spy' Claim Not Supported By Briefings, Say Democrats

In early May, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) asked the Justice Department for all documents about a us citizen who helped the special counsel investigation.

Emerging after the second meeting, Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters there's "no evidence to support any allegation the Federal Bureau of Investigation or any intelligence agency planted a spy in the Trump campaign".

After Democrats strongly objected that a GOP-only intelligence briefing was inappropriate, the Justice Department late Wednesday scheduled a second briefing for bipartisan congressional leaders and the same intelligence officials.

The plans for the briefings - even those that were announced publicly - changed repeatedly in the hours leading up to them, the apparent result of a behind-the-scenes, partisan tug-of-war about who should be briefed, where, and alongside whom. Hours earlier, the White House had said that the briefing for the "Gang of Eight" would happen next month.

Both men left the rooms after initial remarks, according to two officials familiar with the meeting. But Democrats continued to protest, and the same-day meeting was ultimately agreed to. Along with the lawyer, Trump's Chief of Staff John Kelly also attended the meetings, but it is the lawyer's presence that raised major red flags. Mark Warner, and the top Democrat on the House intelligence panel, Rep. Adam Schiff.

The White House had initially said that the Democrats had not formally requested to take part in the briefing, despite calls from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for the meeting to be bipartisan. Specifically, the president wants to know whether some in the nation's top law enforcement organization had political purposes for monitoring his campaign.

He was annoyed the Democrats had been given the opening by not being invited, the person said.

Asked why he avoided making conclusions about Russians having a direct impact on the outcome of the election before, Clapper says he is now speaking both with more information but also as a private individual.

But Republican critics of the Justice Department and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein remain deeply pessimistic that the Justice Department will divulge anything on Thursday. We are also told that Congress-a separate branch of government, a primary duty of which is oversight-cannot be allowed to access Justice Department material.

Speaking to reporters later, Trump sought to discredit Comey, calling him a liar and saying he could be in trouble once a review of the FBI's handling of the Russian Federation probe is completed by the inspector general of the Justice Department.

The retired American professor and foreign policy expert for Republican presidents is at the center of a fight between President Trump and his own Justice Department about the origins of the special counsel investigation of whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation to win the 2016 presidential election. Some members fear Trump's attempts to help may backfire. He demanded in recent days that the Justice Department investigate the matter and turn over records to Congress, ignoring warnings from law enforcement officials in his administration, that sharing the documents would put the informant and foreign intelligence partners at risk.

More generally, Comey said, "The word "spy" is not an accurate characterization in any case of the FBI's use of confidential human sources, which are a critical tool in all of our investigations - people telling us things that they know". Mueller later took over the investigation when he was appointed in May 2017.

Indeed, this month marked the one-year anniversary of the ongoing probe by special counsel Robert Mueller on whether Team Trump colluded with Russian Federation to clinch the White House in the 2016 presidential elections, and the latest shot in the open battle between the White House and the president's own Justice Department came earlier this week. Countering my nervous outlook is the Times, which, as one example, told us in a headline, "F.B.I".


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