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

Charlie Neibergall  AP

Charlie Neibergall AP

During a meeting Monday with Trump, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray also reiterated an announcement late Sunday that the Justice Department's inspector general will expand an existing investigation into the Russian Federation probe by examining whether there was any improper politically motivated surveillance.

Two Republican lawmakers, and no Democrats, are expected to attend a meeting scheduled for Thursday to review classified information relating to U.S. President Donald Trump's suggestion the Federal Bureau of Investigation might have used an informant to gather information on his 2016 election campaign, the White House said on Tuesday.

Mueller and the Trump-appointed Rosenstein are registered Republicans, and the special counsel's team is made up of members affiliated with both parties.

On Sunday, Trump demanded via tweet the Justice Department "look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for political Purposes".

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

"When we finally find out the truth about this, Director Clapper and the rest of them will be wearing some orange suits", he said.

The meeting on Thursday is the latest development in the escalating row between Trump, the DoJ and Republicans over the FBI's use of a confidential source to make contact with Trump campaign advisers during the presidential election.

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

"That would be one of the biggest insults that anyone has ever seen", the president said during a White House sitdown with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

The US Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation will provide a highly anticipated briefing on the handling of the Russian Federation investigation to Republican members of Congress on Thursday, White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Tuesday.

The Mueller investigation, Bruni argued, is dominating media coverage to the extent it's crowding out coverage of what Trump and his administration are actually doing.

Trump's lawyers are also thinking about a combination of in-person meetings and written statements for Mueller. Press secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday the meeting would be Thursday.

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. He also said that Trump did not request a second special counsel.

The move stoked some consternation in Congress. Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said previously that he expected to be invited and said Democrats being shut out was "another serious abuse of power".

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

United States officials have told CNN there was no such source planted inside Trump's campaign to provide information to investigators.

"Sadly they have allies in Congress who are all too happy to help in destroying these institutions", Schiff said.

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