Dem, GOP leaders to get classified briefing on Russian Federation probe

The former NY mayor is seeking a readout of the classified information Justice Department officials shared with lawmakers on Thursday about the origins of the FBI investigation into Russian meddling.

This was apparently a reference to documents the president's allies in the House have been seeking from the Justice Department, including information about an informant who spoke to Trump campaign personnel known to have dealt with suspected Russian agents.

Trump bashed Democratic critics who have argued in recent days that the president's claims that an Federal Bureau of Investigation spy infiltrated his campaign are inaccurate. The president has chided the FBI, former FBI Director James Comey, Mueller, the Russian Federation "witch hunt", and the "deep state" in more than four dozen tweets since April alone.

"Coupled with Comey's illegally leaked memos, this means the whole thing was a mistake and should never have happened", Giuliani said.

The back and forth between Congress and the Justice Department over the Nunes request - one of many over the course of the Russian Federation investigation - has simmered for weeks.

The more doubt Trump can cast about the DOJ's motives, the easier it will be to dismiss or downplay the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller.

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 a year ago to lying to the FBI. It's legal blackmail, and it's possible that's what Comey tried to do with Trump by telling him about the Russian dossier - using unverified allegations as personal leverage. "What did they get?" "There's a big concealment that went on here for over a year since the president said he had been surveilled".

Trump has sought to portray the issue as a scandal that he has dubbed "Spygate", and has called Mueller's investigation, which already has led to criminal charges against several campaign figures and his former national security adviser, a "witch hunt". Three former Trump aides have pleaded guilty and are cooperating with the probe.

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Trump's latest broadsides set the stage for the unusual decision by the White House to arrange a briefing Thursday about classified documents for just two Republican House members, both Trump allies, as Trump and his supporters in Congress pressed for information on the outside informant. Meanwhile, the White House handed out classified information on the professor to Republican political leaders even while decrying the "politicization" of intelligence. After the White House initially said it would hold that second briefing two weeks later, the administration agreed late Wednesday to give the "Gang of Eight" briefing the same day.

But the fact that this is what Trump does shouldn't distract us from the allegations here: Donald Trump is saying his predecessor as president used the leading law enforcement entity in the country to spy on him because Obama/the "deep state" didn't want someone as unconventional as Trump to be president.

Rubio said he thinks the president and his lawyers are "reacting. they're responding to what, what they're facing and the things that are happening to them".

If the Justice Department judges some information to be too sensitive to release, it shouldn't change its opinion simply because the president applies pressure.

The White House said the officials didn't attend the full briefings, but instead delivered brief remarks communicating the "president's desire for as much openness as possible under the law" and relaying "the president's understanding of the need to protect human intelligence services and the importance of communication between the branches of government", according to a statement.

"He's not the subject or target of that investigation". He has proven time and again that he is willing to stray from established facts in pursuit of a narrative that is more favorable to him - from the size of his inauguration crowds to the idea that Obama ordered a wiretap on him during the last presidential campaign. "And if Obama knew about it, why can't Trump?"

But that distinction was largely lost in the Twitter barrage of recent days as Trump unloaded on "the person placed very early into my campaign".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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