WH lawyer, Kelly speak before Russia meetings

29 May, 2018, 20:59 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Rod Rosenstein just fired back at Donald Trump with a dictionary definition

President Donald Trump's unproved assertions that the Federal Bureau of Investigation spied on his campaign puts a twist on an old trial lawyer's saying.

Rudy Giuliani said Sunday that if Mueller's investigators seek a court order to compel the president to testify, Trump's lawyers would fight such a subpoena all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary.

The meeting with the so-called "gang of eight" included Republican and Democratic leaders of Congress and the intelligence committees. Senate Democrats and Republican leaders are anxious about what sort of precedent a special briefing like this for Nunes might set. The invite list evolved up until hours before the meeting - a reflection of the partisan distrust and the political wrangling. Some also questioned whether the presence of Flood and Kelly violated Justice Department policy meant to limit contacts with the White House to specific circumstances.

But the briefings themselves over the source became the latest political confrontation in the Russian Federation investigation after the White House initially only had invited Republicans to the Justice Department briefing on the confidential source. Mark Warner tweeted after the briefing.

"That is a distortion of what I said, in fact, I had an aversion to the use of the term", he said, repeating his denial that the intelligence community spied on the Trump campaign. This news seemed to scare former Central Intelligence Agency chief and close Obama ally John Brennan, whose panicked response was widely mocked by pro-Trump political surrogates who saw in this proof that one of the most powerful spies in the USA at the time might be afraid of going down with this scandal.

"It should be very easy to brief us", Giuliani said. They brought documents to Capitol Hill but did not share them, and made several remarks about the importance of protecting intelligence sources and methods.

"Never has there been anything so disrespectful of the Congress than what they're doing today", House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters Thursday.

The schedule change occurred following sharp criticism from Democrats that the White House was politicizing intelligence by initially offering the briefing only to Republicans.

Donald Trump's lawyer again questioned the legitimacy of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 US election, even as a possible interview between Mueller and the president looms.


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.

Critics charge that Trump has violated the long-standing independence of the Justice Department to pursue investigations without political interference and called it inappropriate for administration officials to join briefings about an investigation that bears so heavily on the president and his aides. The second person also declined to be named because the meeting was classified.

Intelligence officials are horrified that the White House has sanctioned the naming of the supposed informant, an American who teaches history in England, saying this will make it much harder to get information about threats to national security. Ryan will not attend, due to a "longstanding schedule commitment", according to spokeswoman AshLee Strong, and three Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans - Chuck Grassley (Iowa), John Cornyn (Texas), and Lindsay Graham (S.C.) - have also asked to attend.

The substance of Halper's conduct has been nearly a sideshow in recent days, as lawmakers, the White House and the Justice Department have instead debated who would be invited to each briefing, and where they would be held.

The Justice Department had rejected Nunes' original request, writing in a letter in April that his request for information could put lives in danger.

But, behind his outlandish tweeting and table-pounding, Trump knows his audience well.

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

That raised some suspicion, as the matter being discussed concerned an ongoing criminal investigation involving the Trump campaign.

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