House conservatives want second special counsel to investigate alleged DOJ 'misconduct'

Charlie Neibergall  AP

Charlie Neibergall AP

Democrats will be shut out of a White House-brokered meeting during which Justice Department officials will tell two House GOP chairmen about an intelligence source who provided information about President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

The president's outside lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, told NPR that Mueller's office has told the president's legal team that the part of the investigation involving the president-both the question of obstruction and collusion-would conclude by September 1 if the much-debated interview with Trump takes place by mid-July.

"The individuals that are expected to attend are Chairman Nunes, Chairman Gowdy, FBI Director Wray, [Director of National Intelligence Dan] Coats, and DOJ official Ed O'Callaghan", she said, referring to House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes., R-Calif., and House Government and Oversight Reform Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. Rep. Devin Nunes of California, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and Rep. Trey Gowdy of SC, who chairs the House Oversight panel, will attend, though Sanders said no Democrats were invited.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said chief of staff John Kelly planned to "immediately" schedule a meeting with the officials and leaders of Congress to "review highly classified and other information they have requested".

Trump also weighed in on the informant allegations again Tuesday, after meeting with FBI Director Wray and Rosenstein at the White House on Monday.

They also called for access, for Democrats as well as Republicans, to all documents related to the case.

Moscow denies election meddling and Mr. Trump denies any collusion between Russian officials and his campaign, calling investigations a political witch hunt.

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The top Democrat in the Senate questioned the propriety of such a meeting but said that if it occurs, it must be bipartisan.

"If they had spies in my campaign, that would be a disgrace to this country, that would be one of the biggest insults that anyone's ever seen, and it would be very illegal", Trump said at the White House. He said earlier Tuesday the Justice Department's independent inspector general should have the latitude to follow the investigation "where it needs to go".

The back and forth between the Justice Department and Congress began with a classified subpoena from Nunes in late April.

And Trump has taken up the cause as the White House tries to combat the threat posed by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

The president declined Tuesday to express confidence in his Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein a day after meeting with him to discuss allegations of Federal Bureau of Investigation misconduct during the 2016 election. Trump's lawyers are insisting on an audio recording of any interview with the President, so there is no question exactly what was said. House Speaker Paul Ryan has said repeatedly, however, that he believed Mr. Mueller should be allowed to continue his work.

Caputo added, "It was frightening to me".

"But you can't be the one to fire him because we've got some weak-kneed Republicans out there who will come after you for firing the guy who needed firing", he recalled while holding a photo of himself whispering in Trump's ear last summer.

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