Published: Wed, May 23, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Republicans, no Democrats, invited to see documents on US election probe

Republicans, no Democrats, invited to see documents on US election probe

Earlier on Tuesday, a group of Republican lawmakers called for the appointment of a second special counsel to investigate the probe into Trump's campaign, Russian Federation and the 2016 US election, as Trump ramped up his own criticism of the Department of Justice.

Two House Republican leaders - and no Democrats - will meet with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats on Thursday to discuss records the lawmakers have demanded related to the Russian Federation investigation.

President Donald Trump's legal team is trying to cut a deal on the president's potential interview with special counsel Robert Mueller's team, pushing to keep any of Trump's actions after he won the presidency off the table. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

There was no immediate response from House leadership aides on whether the measure might come up for a vote.

Trump asked White House chief of staff John Kelly to set up the meeting, which comes after Justice officials have for months been reluctant to hand over any information on the matter to Republican members.

Former Trump campaign aide Carter Page on Tuesday discussed his encounters with an Federal Bureau of Investigation confidential source during the 2016 campaign, saying he "never found anything unusual". "So hopefully they will all be able to get together", he said.

The Justice Department said the White House had signed off on its letter, but Nunes wasn't satisfied, and continued to pressure the department.

Trump tweeted Sunday, "I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes - and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!"

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Trump understands that there is supposed to be a distinction between justice and politics, that the DOJ's tradition of independence helps preserve that distinction, and that presidents are not supposed to treat the department as a tool for punishing their enemies and protecting their friends, even though the Constitution gives them the power to do so.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) went one step further at a Tuesday news conference, calling on the president to orchestrate Mueller's termination.

While the president fumed over surveillance, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen stunned some lawmakers by saying she wasn't aware of the USA intelligence assessment that Russia's meddling was meant to help Mr. Trump get elected.

Trump's lawyers are also discussing a combination of in-person and written answers, according to CNN, which reported the deal making endeavor. Press secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday the meeting would be Thursday.

On Monday, Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo told Fox News there might be at least two informants and said that he was also approached.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he and GOP chairman Richard Burr declined the offer of a DOJ briefing on the documents, citing their sensitive nature. On Tuesday at the White House, when asked if he has confidence in Rosenstein, Trump demurred, responding, "Next question, please".

The former contractor, from a USA government agency Caputo refrained from naming, had contacted a friend of Caputo's on May 6, 2016, and told him the agency had emails and wanted to get them to the Trump campaign.

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