Top Intel Dem warns Republicans: Don't try to out FBI source

Top Intel Dem warns Republicans: Don't try to out FBI source
© Greg Nash

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate Intel chief slams ex-CIA director for timing of claims about Trump-Russia ties Trump draws bipartisan fire over Brennan Hillicon Valley: Trump revokes Brennan's security clearance | Twitter cracks down on InfoWars | AT&T hit with crypto lawsuit | DHS hosts election security exercise MORE (D-Va.) warned Republican lawmakers on Friday not to expose the identity of a secret FBI informant, saying that to do so would be "irresponsible" — and potentially illegal.

"It would be at best irresponsible, and at worst potentially illegal, for members of Congress to use their positions to learn the identity of an FBI source for the purpose of undermining the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in our election," Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement. 

"Anyone who is entrusted with our nation’s highest secrets should act with the gravity and seriousness of purpose that knowledge deserves," he added. 

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Warner's comments come as some GOP lawmakers and allies of President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL players stand in tunnel during anthem, extending protests 12 former top intel officials blast Trump's move to revoke Brennan's security clearance NYT: Omarosa believed to have as many as 200 tapes MORE seize on reports of an embedded FBI informant who fed investigators information about possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Some congressional Republicans have raised concerns that the FBI may have planted a mole within the Trump campaign in order to spy on the then-candidate and his team in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

Even Trump suggested on Thursday that the Obama administration had intentionally planted the informant in his presidential campaign, claiming that the matter could end up being "bigger than Watergate."

The New York Times reported last week that a top-secret FBI informant had met with two former Trump campaign advisers, George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosPapadopoulos's wife wants him to scrap plea deal with Mueller: report Fox News host hits Giuliani: Dossier isn't why Mueller probe was started Omarosa claims Trump knew about hacked emails prior to WikiLeaks release MORE and Carter Page.

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that allies of the president had begun waging a campaign to expose the role of the informant. In response, the FBI has been working to soften the blow if the source's identity is outed