Paul Ryan Contradicts Donald Trump on Spygate and the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Alex Wong  Getty Images North America

Alex Wong Getty Images North America

Trump has claimed that a spy was planted in his campaign to help his Democratic opponent.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday that President Donald Trump should not pardon himself, noting that no one in the United States is above the law.

"Nothing we heard today has changed our view that there is no evidence to support any allegation that the Federal Bureau of Investigation or any intelligence agency placed a spy in the Trump campaign, or otherwise failed to follow appropriate procedures and protocols", Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said.

"At least we know that the third most powerful constitutional law officer of the United States of America does not believe that", he added. He went on to concede that although he does not know the "technical" answer to the question of whether a president can self-pardon, Trump "obviously" shouldn't do so. Trump said it was "starting to look like one of the biggest political scandals in US history". The official said they would provide new materials and also "the documents that were available for review but not inspected by the members at the previous briefing". House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., demanded documents on the informant and its contact with Trump campaign officials, while Trump dubbed the matter "spygate" and said it was "starting to look like one of the biggest political scandals in US history".

Before the House took last week off, members of the Intelligence Committee received a classified briefing on the ongoing Russian Federation investigation.

Ryan said Thursday that next week is not soon enough.

"It would have been helpful if we'd gotten this information earlier".

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

He also issued a careful warning about Trump's recent assertion that he has the authority to pardon himself. He demanded a Justice Department inquiry of the matter and dubbed the matter "SPYGATE" in repeated posts on Twitter.

A January memo from Trump's legal team to Mueller asserted that a president has full power over Justice Department investigations and therefore can not be charged with obstruction of justice. He had previously said the lawyers wanted a briefing. "If he did, he'd be impeached so fast", Giuliani said. Lame Duck Speaker: "Get the hell out of the office, you're going to send us to perdition and destruction in the midterm elections".

He added: "We want to see the documents - this matters far more to my client than to any member of Congress".

"It's like, 'Let's create this thing to tweet about knowing that it's not true, '" he posed.

Though senators are invited to the briefing, there has been less interest in that chamber in prolonging the public fight over information concerning the informant.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell echoed those remarks Tuesday, telling reporters Trump should not consider pardoning himself if it came to that.

"I have no disagreement with the description Trey Gowdy gave", Burr said. "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.

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