DOJ offers new briefing as lawmakers dispute Trump spy claim

Leroy Wright
June 8, 2018

Ryan told reporters on Wednesday that he thinks Gowdy's "initial assessment is accurate", and he has seen "no evidence to the contrary" of what Gowdy said.

Gowdy, after reviewing Justice Department documents on the FBI's and special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, shot down Trump's claim.

Ryan said Congress has "more digging to do" and that he wished they had gotten the information earlier. Ryan and Gowdy attended the first briefing with Nunes and Schiff. That's according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

He claims the Obama administration planted "eyes and ears" in his campaign team to help Hillary Clinton win the election. The official declined to be named because the briefings are classified.

Ryan, responding to a reporter's question Wednesday in Washington, said he stands by the statements of House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican.

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"Paul Ryan stating that no man is above the law and that Donald Trump shouldn't pardon himself is something that we should seize upon", Scarborough added, "because right now the president of the United States believes that he is above the law".

Both Gowdy and Ryan said publicly that during a recent classified briefing, they received no information substantiating Trump's claims, which the president has repeatedly invoked on social media and during his speeches in an effort to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of his campaign.

But Ryan on Wednesday broke with the President and his conservative allies who have claimed the Federal Bureau of Investigation was spying on his campaign, when he said he agreed with South Carolina GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy's assessment that the FBI's use of the confidential source was proper.

Trump's lawyers in the Mueller probe have also taken advantage of the back and forth, with Rudy Giuliani telling The Associated Press on Thursday that Trump won't do an interview in Mueller's investigation unless they see the documents themselves. "Obviously the answer is he shouldn't [pardon himself] and no one is above the law", Ryan cautioned. "If I am watching you without your knowledge, gathering information without your knowledge, don't tell you about it, I'm spying on you", Carlson said.

"Well, I know - that's why I started out by saying when you got Republicans that think it's okay to spy on their presidential campaign that they didn't support really whole hog, then that is a major problem", Gohmert replied.

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