Donald Trump's Persistent Campaign Against Federal Law Enforcement and the Intelligence Agencies

Donald Trump's Persistent Campaign Against Federal Law Enforcement and the Intelligence Agencies

A former FBI director, Mr. Mueller was appointed special counsel by the Department of Justice last May following the firing of his successor, James Comey, and tasked with continuing the latter's investigation into the 2016 election, including any possible ties between President Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

The informant, Stefan A. Halper, a London-based American academic and veteran of several Republican administrations, did not "infiltrate" the campaign. "They looked upon me as representing the views and concerns of the intelligence community", Brennan said of the former presidents.

But Democrats slammed the fact that Flood was there at all. Those individuals left before the substance of it.

Hannity said Comey should instead worry about "explaining to his grandchildren" how his actions during the Clinton and Trump investigations tainted the reputation of the bureau.

For someone who insists that there was "no collusion!" and that he has nothing to hide, Trump has sought to undermine this investigation from the start, baselessly attacking those who are conducting it, diverting attention to sideshows and injecting politics into what should be a fact-finding process.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called the meeting "unacceptable and very inappropriate" and accused Republicans of setting up the session to learn information to aid Trump's defense in the Russian Federation investigation.

Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks at the Iran Freedom Convention for Human Rights and democracy at the Grand Hyatt, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Washington.

Mueller, in the filing, said that he was not opposed to unsealing the two Manafort warrants that have been subject to legal challenges that Manafort has brought seeking to throw out certain evidence, with Mueller acknowledging that numerous details about them were already coming out in open court proceedings.

He defended Flood's attendance at the briefings Thursday.

"That is kind of in my mind, and maybe I'm a traditionalist, violates a norm and standard of behavior that's always been abided by previous presidents and to me that's bothersome and I think another sign of some erosion of our institutions and our norms and standards", Clapper said.

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A second meeting, on Capitol Hill, was held with members of the "Gang of Eight", which includes the top leadership in the House and Senate plus the top Republicans and Democrats on the intelligence committees.

Nunes and Gowdy both declined comment after their briefing. Ryan said afterward that the Intelligence Committee had "the responsibility to ask tough questions of the executive branch" and that the Justice Department was cooperating.

In a statement, House Speaker Paul Ryan wouldn't say what he learned, but said he looked forward to the "prompt completion" of the House Intelligence Committee's work now that they are "getting the cooperation necessary". The White House gave no evidence to support Trump's claim that President Barack Obama's administration was trying to spy on his 2016 campaign for political reasons.

Democrats demanded to receive the same briefing.

Initially offered only to Republicans, the briefings were the latest piece of stagecraft meant to publicize and bolster the allegations. And in a sign that the partisan tensions continued to simmer, Schiff was a late add to the briefing given to the House Republicans.

Those presenting from the law enforcement and intelligence communities Thursday included Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats.

Soon it was made public that Schiff would be allowed to attend the first briefing - meaning both gatherings would be bipartisan.

Nunes and other Republicans already eager to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation used Trump's complaints to obtain the briefing from the Justice Department, whose leaders have tried for months to balance demands from congressional overseers against their stated obligation to protect Mueller's ongoing investigation into ties between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.

Trump could order the department to turn over documents, though some fear that could provoke a potentially catastrophic confrontation - with Justice Department leaders quitting in protest or refusing the order and forcing Trump to fire them.

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