Paul Ryan Brushes Back Trump ‘Spygate’ Assertion, Opposes Pardon


"But I have seen no evidence to the contrary of the initial assessment that Chairman Gowdy has made", Ryan continued, adding: "But I want to make sure that we run every lead down and make sure we get final answers to these questions". "We have some more digging to do". Instead, some are carrying water for a Justice Department that has already resisted congressional oversight, misrepresented material facts to a FISA court, improperly redacted documents and failed to disclose spying on a presidential campaign. "We still have some unanswered questions".

The FBI sent a confidential informant to meet with three members of Trump's campaign in 2016 after the Russian government began making overtures with offers of "dirt" on Hillary Clinton, "off the record" meetings and other help. But they eventually relented after pressure from Trump, Nunes and Ryan.

The briefing will be for the Gang of Eight - the senior Democrat and Republican in the Senate and House, as well as the senior members of each party on their respective intelligence committees.

"Today for the first time I was hearing colleagues say, 'Well, Speaker Ryan won't stand with us in this fight over the essentials of our democracy, not weaponizing the intelligence community against the presidential campaign".

On Mr. Trump's orders, the Department of Justice conducted two briefings for a handful of members of Congress after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., had asked for documents concerning the informant.

"But the obvious answer is he shouldn't [pardon himself] and no one is above the law".

Ryan said it has been "frustrating" that the Justice Department hasn't provided the documents sooner.

Ryan issued a careful warning about the idea of Trump pardoning himself.

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Ryan also said he doesn't think Trump "should" pardon himself.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, who also serves on the Judiciary Committee, told Business Insider that Trump's opinion "may be right from a strictly legal standpoint, but I don't think it's helpful in terms of the conclusion of the investigation".

Rep. Matt Gaetz bashed House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) for saying that President Trump was incorrect in accusing the Federal Bureau of Investigation of illegally infiltrating his campaign with informants for the sake of political gain.

"He doesn't have to do it, because he's done nothing wrong", Giuliani said.

Trump has maintained, without publicly presenting evidence, that former President Barack Obama imbedded a "spy" into his campaign, dubbing the alleged incident "Spygate".

On Sunday, Giuliani said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that it would be "unthinkable" for Trump to pardon himself - but that it was something the president could "probably" do - because it would nearly certainly lead to impeachment proceedings in Congress.

"I don't know how you can reach that conclusion based on the history of the FBI", Jordan told The Hill.

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